Identities can keep us in old patterns or they can be springboards for new endeavors. Moving forward begins with empowerment and the ability to see oneself in a new future. One of the many things we do at Solid Ground is offer families ways to empower themselves, in ways great and small. And this is something we do well. The results of empowerment aren’t always tangible and the true impact may not manifest itself until the family has been away from Solid Ground for quite some time.
A big way to be empowered is something that many of us take for granted: having proof of your identity. Many times families arrive at Solid Ground without basic identification. Being in survival mode means other worries about the day-to-day take precedence over “who am I”. Working with the families, we offer various resources to obtain a driver’s license, MN state ID, social security cards, birth certificates, health care, among other types of ways to establish identity.
Having an identity is a strong launching point into the world. The simple act of being able to prove who you are opens many doors: to housing, to employment, education, getting services to move your family forward. Proving to the world who you are is empowering. The world looks different from the other side.
Identity goes far beyond having identification. Here at Solid Ground, our programming is designed to help families identify who they are, who they are in the world, where do they want to go, and how to map out the way there. There is DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) skills training, allowing people to gain tools to interact differently with the world. Parenting classes help families establish healthy patterns of interaction with each other and begin to stop the cycle of poverty. Solid Ground also enjoys many connections and collaborations within the community, using these supports to further our mission of helping families to build solid foundations.
by Sara Hesseltine, MSW, LGSW and Solid Ground Family Advocate