“I still talk about At The Crossroads as if I worked there.”
Kris
Former Outreach Counselor
Brenda, Naomi, and Kris (from left) get silly at a staff holiday party.

Notorious staff trio, Naomi, Kris, and Brenda, reflect on their time at ATC and how foundational it was to their lives today.

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Naomi: What else would you guys like to say before we cut it off?

Brenda: Y'all are bomb diggity!

Naomi: Right? I'm so grateful for all the clients and all the staff. I learned so much. I just feel lucky, you know?

Kris: Yeah. Me too. You know, I still talk about At The Crossroads as if I worked there? [Laughter] I still do it. I'm like, "Oh, like my job?" And then I'm like, "My old job. I'm sorry."

Brenda: Yeah, I always say "we."

Kris: "Oh, we do that." In present tense, right? Like, "Oh, we offer services. Blah blah blah blah."

Naomi: Like, "We think about it like this." [Laughs]

Kris: Right. "We meet people where they're at." [Laugther] I mean, I don't because I don't work there anymore, but … [Giggles]

Brenda: Remember when I ... Go on. Sorry. Sorry.

Kris: Oh no, that's okay. I was just going to ... This is going to be my wrap-up, because this one is getting a little fussy. The fuss monster's coming ... It's just been a trip for me to live in a different state and basically live a different life than I used to, and know that these were people that I cared about and that I shared space with and shared breath with and shared life with on the planet. I'm getting real [Laughs] philosophical here.

But I feel like ATC is with me all the time, and I just hope that I've made some equal impact in some way, not just for the org but for all those folks that I used to work with. I think about them often and wonder how they're doing, and just feel so honored that I got to be a part of their lives. And they have been a very big part of my life in lots of different ways, and I hope that clients know that, and I hope that you guys know that, and I hope that just everybody that's ever walked through those doors, whether it's on Valencia or in the new space, that ATC is this incredibly special place that is always with me. Doesn't matter if it's past, present, or future. I just always feel like I'm there.

Brenda: Yeah.

Naomi: Yep.

Kris: I just say that because I've been thinking about that a lot.

Brenda: That's beautiful. That was beautifully said.

Naomi: I know. I'm snapping my fingers.

All: [Laugh]

Brenda: Yeah. I think about what you said Kris, and before you go ... Sorry, we have more. I'm sorry. I keep interrupting people.

Kris: No, please. Please. We're good.

Brenda: No, I know you have to go.

Kris: No, we're good. Let's keep this rolling. [Laughter]

Brenda: But I was thinking about how it took me about a year and a half to actually leave At The Crossroads. You know, they used to tell you, "Tell us in advance," and then I gave them like a year and a half in advance. And every time I told Shawn that I thought I wanted to go back to school, that I thought I was going to be leaving, and I would cry. I would cry so much in our meetings, because I was ... I don't know. It made me really emotional, but I knew I had to leave, and I knew I had to enter the next chapter, you know?

I love being connected to At The Crossroads, because I still think that I'm there half the time, and like you said, it's past, present, future, and it's the foundation that I stand on. I don't think I'd be half the OT that I am now if it wasn't for all those interactions and all of that work that we did together, including not only having wonderful clients, but I think just working with such wonderful ladies like yourselves, guys, and Ivan and everyone at the time that was working there. It was just so magical. It was magical. It was a lovely time.

Kris: It was very special.

Naomi: [Long pause] I agree.

All: [Laughter]

Brenda: I hate you. I hate you so much.

All: [Laughter]

Naomi: Alright.

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Naomi: I was just thinking how at my last externship that I just finished, I was in a subacute site, and this patient that I was working with for voice therapy was like—one day said really quietly, “I like your style.” And I was like “What?” [Laughter] And he was like, “I like your style, it’s just different.” And whenever those things happen in life, I do attribute them—I don’t know if I had them before ATC, or had like a little bit of it and then ATC just gave me everything I needed to build that skillset of just being able to listen to people, and be there for them, you know, in a non-judgemental way and really talking to people and getting to know who they are—

Brenda: Yes.

Naomi: Is the skill that you need in everything in life. And I wouldn’t have had this opportunity to build that most important thing had it not been for ATC. So then I would have went—I don’t know where I would have went! Or who I would have become.

Kris: Right.

Naomi: I would have really missed out on getting to know other humans in this way that helps you to have empathy and build true relationships, you know? So it’s kind of everything. And I always think it’s interesting, like, people will say, when I’ve done other work—after ATC I worked specifically with foster youth for, I don’t know, five years? Four years? And people would always say, if I told them the work that we did with At The Crossroads, and because it’s a homeless population and also some of the most underserved and what people think is challenging, “Oh that must have been really hard.” And I always think, actually—

Kris: No!

Naomi: At The Crossroads was not like easy, but it was the most natural way of being and the most natural way of offering services to people and building relationships with them. And the way that made sense, you know?

Brenda and Kris: Right.

Naomi: And so it wasn’t, it was actually more natural and effective and less—made me feel less burnt out than I have afterwards. You know?

Kris: Absolutely.