“Home is our antidote.” Reflections on Inauguration Day

Inauguration day is in many ways a day like any other. I go to work, sit at the front desk, answer the phone, address residents’ inquiries and do my small part to make this building a home for the residents that live here. Yet despite the ordinary events, there is no doubt that this inauguration day Aeon staff and residents could perceive cracks in the façade of normality. This election has been fraught with blatant conflict, name calling and cutting remarks. It has resulted in increased hate crimes, polarization and fear. This weekend we felt the deep emotional tremors of this conflict. In these tumultuous conditions, building home is more important than ever.

Home is the antithesis to polarization and conflict. It is connection. It is where our friends and loved ones are. Home is comfort. It is a place where we can express ourselves. Home is peace and security. It is a place where we feel safe. We all need to build home for ourselves and we especially need to reach out to and contribute to building home for others. Building home can be an antidote to fear, isolation, and hate. To build home we band together. In experiencing home, we feel community and connection.

Today, I will call up an 18-year-old that is currently experiencing homelessness and I will tell him that his application has been approved. His long traumatic road through homelessness has come to an end. He now has a place to call home, a place where he is safe, a place where he can grow community and feel connection. More than ever, I am aware of how Aeon’s mission to make home possible helps to heal and unite.

Aeon has worked to further its mission for the past 30 years under 5 different U.S. Presidents – now six. And we will continue to pursue our mission to make Home possible for those facing the greatest barriers. We will foster unity and drive away fear by providing safety, comfort and community.

-Alexandra Blust, Aeon Front Desk Assistant, St. Barnabas & The Summit Apartments

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