Harvest House Ministries has served the East Side of Buffalo for more than 20 years, serving more than 14,000 people every year regardless of race religion or culture, but now, Harvest House is focused on the Jefferson Avenue community. Joining us is Carol Murphy, president and CEO, Harvest House to talk about his pivot.
They are still offering a lot of the amazing services to our local community but with this focus it is a little bit different.
Carol Murphy says, “We have a wonderful team at harvest House and if COVID taught us anything, it is we have to pivot to meet the community needs, whatever they are, whenever they are.” She says, “we often talk about finding need and filing it, we re there for the holes in the safety net and emergency response is just part of that. The East Side of Buffalo, we are grieving, our staff is members of the community, we live there, we work there, we know the people who have been impacted personally by this mass shooting.” She goes on to say, “right after the shooting I met with the team at Harvest House, and I said what do we do, and they said we open the doors. If we don’t continue to serve and do the work, we are committed to on the East Side, then hate wins and we can’t have that, so we have to come together as a community. We have to continue to talk about the trauma our community has experienced and work together to make the East Side of Buffalo a better community and we need to learn from this mass shooting, and I think we need to do that by coming together.”
Something that Carol said to Emily Lampa is that you can’t isolate yourself. When something bad happens like this, it’s so difficult to get out there and get the help you need, but you said, there is something more important than ever and you kept your doors open. Carol says, “We kept our doors open for that reason. We weren’t sure anyone would come down; there is a lot of fear and justifiable fear and what we found was, people did come down, they wanted to come down. We have social workers who are available to just talk, how am I feeling, how am I processing this, what does it feel like, what do I need to feel safe moving forward?” She goes on to say it is important to continue to talk about this, if we push it inside those stages of grief, we are all going through them, one minute we are sad, the next minute we are angry, the next minute we are saying what do I do with all this, how do I process it? She says we do it by coming together.”
For more information go to HarvestHouse.org