Members of the Good Samaritan Haven staff enjoyed a BBQ hosted by the Montpelier Rotary Club on June 25, at the Christ Church Pocket Park in Montpelier. This event was the first in a series of programs that the Rotary has planned as part of an ongoing Listening Project to celebrate and honor front-line workers who engage with and help folks experiencing homelessness in Montpelier. The next event, coming up August 20, at 7 PM, at Lost Nation Theater, is a showing of the film The Wisdom of Trauma. The Montpelier Rotary Club’s other principal partners in this effort are Another Way and the Montpelier Police Department.
The film, The Wisdom of Trauma will be shown on Saturday, August 20th at 7 PM at Lost Nation Theater in Montpelier. In the film, we travel alongside physician, bestselling author, and Order of Canada recipient, Dr. Gabor Maté, to explore why Western society is facing such epidemics as substance abuse, chronic illness and homelessness, only to find a common root in trauma and the basic human need to be seen and held. The film reveals the commonalities in the stories of people living on the streets and features the efforts of front-line workers who use the power of relationship to relieve suffering.
“The front-line workers of central Vermont who engage with those people lacking permanent housing are the standard bearers of both compassion and realism in our community,” says Kim Bent, co-director of Lost Nation Theater and current President of the Montpelier Rotary Club. “With fellow Rotarian Emily Gould, we’ve initiated this Listening Project on Homelessness in partnership with Rick DeAngelis, co-director of Good Samaritan Haven. Ken Russell, executive director of Another Way, and Montpelier Police Chief, Brian Peete. The Listening Project aims to raise public awareness about the realities of homelessness in our community through a series of events to both honor and hear from front-line workers. The film showing is the second event in the Listening Project. After the showing, there will be a talk-back session with representatives from those organizations in which the themes of the film will be related back to our experiences here in central Vermont.”
“The first event in the Listening Project was a barbecue to thank the front-line workers in our community for the extraordinary service and sacrifice that they demonstrated during the pandemic to respond to the crisis in our community,” Gould says. “What we learned at that event is that the people who are doing the most to help others in our community are sometimes the people who have the least. All of us can learn profound lessons about our own humanity by hearing about the lives of people who suffer and those who reach out to help. The Montpelier Rotary Club intends to continue the project and find new ways to shine a light on all the acts of kindness and generosity that happen every day and often get unrecognized. The arts have traditionally expressed humanities deepest wisdom, and this film is a perfect example of this tradition.”
According to the film makers, Zaya and Maurizio Benazzo, “Trauma is the invisible force that shapes our lives. It shapes the way we live, the way we love and the way we make sense of the world. It is the root of our deepest wounds. Dr. Maté gives us a new vision: a trauma-informed society in which parents, teachers, physicians, policy-makers and legal personnel are not concerned with fixing behaviors, making diagnoses, suppressing symptoms and judging, but seek instead to understand the sources from which troubling behaviors and diseases spring in the wounded human soul. He points us to the path of individual and collective healing.”
“The film weaves personal stories with Dr. Maté’s unique approach to healing trauma and illness in the context of powerful social critique. We travel from the streets of downtown Vancouver to San Francisco, visit a prison yard, and observe a psychedelic healing session, while witnessing the authentic humanity shining through the wounds of those we encounter.”
“When the connection between trauma, illness and societal stress is properly understood, these conditions can provide important openings for compassion and self-awareness, which in turn are major tools in recovery and healing. Dr. Maté’s vision for a trauma-informed society invites us all to be part of the rising of a culture guided by deep compassion for one another.”
Admission to the film and talk-back session is by donation, with proceeds going to funds that support the care and professional development of the staff at Good Samaritan Haven and Another Way. Members of the audience will have an opportunity to join the Listening Project and contribute to its further development.
About Good Samaritan Haven
Good Samaritan Haven is a shelter network for those experiencing homelessness in Washington county. The organization operates emergency shelters in Berlin, Barre City, and Barre Town. Good Samaritan Haven has operated seasonal emergency overflow shelters with community partners and has an extensive meal program and peer-to-peer street outreach team. To learn more visit, goodsamaritanhaven.org.
About Another Way
Another Way provides a safe and friendly place to share community, to network and to learn from each other. We welcome everyone, especially persons seeking to overcome struggles and live well. To learn more visit anotherwayvt.org.