On April 21st, families in the Simpson Housing Transitional Housing (TH), Rental Assistance Program (RAP), ZOOM House, Elliot Park, and Housing First programs arrived at the Roller Garden in St. Louis Park for the annual Roller Skating Party. This year we had 123 participants, a record for us. Volunteers from Bethlehem Lutheran provided the meal, Simpson Housing provided the roller skate rentals, but it was the Simpson Housing families that made it a memorable night.
Parents, children, and staff looped around the rink at varied speeds. Teenagers zoomed past, moving to the music, and seeing who could catch up to whom. Smaller children cautiously advance onto the rink, holding hands with their parent, a staff member, their sibling, or a friend they just made. By the end of the night they have transformed into roller skating pros. Moms and dads cheer their children on from the side while taking a break from the action. Toddlers and infants look on with excitement, bouncing to the music as well.
I believe this is a special event for the Simpson Staff. It is an opportunity to connect with the families we work with in a different way. As a Family Support Advocate, I meet weekly with families in our program to discuss goal planning and resource needs, but on this night, we can connect in a different way – as somebody who is just trying to keep myself off the roller-rink floor and have some fun. The laughs can go a long way for everybody.
-Tom B., Simpson Family Advocate