One of the most important life lessons Lindsey Bulger has learned is a simple one: that lending a loving ear can help make a house a home.
Lutheran Volunteer Corps placed Lindsey as an activities/volunteer coordinator at a transitional housing facility for homeless women in Seattle.
“My life was changed through the simple act of listening to the stories of women who have experienced deep hardships in their life,” she says, “and the courageous work of individuals and communities to walk with these women in their journey towards hope and permanent housing.”
Transforming dorms into homes
She discovered key ingredients that can turn student housing into a home, which in turn help young adults to be well-positioned for success after graduation.
“Campus living is an excellent opportunity to help shape a student’s overall college experience, one that allows students to learn and grow as an individual in a safe and welcoming environment,” she says.
“Residence halls are an intimate place for students to express themselves, providing a unique opportunity to engage in a mutual exchange of ideas, commitments, identities and priorities.”
Now, the 24-year-old taps into both experiences in her current role as resident hall director for 340 first-year students at Luther, her alma mater.
Because her shoes once lived in the very same closets, Lindsey understands the challenges freshmen face as they work to adjust to freedom while managing their responsibilities.
Creating a culture of wellness
“Young adults are overstretched and over-committed people. It is easy to fall into this trap, especially because we live in a culture of business,” she says. “I am trying to address this issue by encouraging total, complete wellness. The hardest part of this is practicing what I preach!”
Lindsey finds the connection within a community fascinating. “I find great beauty in the African concept of ubuntu: ‘I am because we are.’ We are able to catch glimpses of God in our relationships to one another.
“God is working in big and small ways every day; I just have to keep my head up and eyes open to behold the beauty. I may see God working in a relationship in my life, or in the relationships of others, or in the beauty of nature, or in challenging lessons.”
Or in the home next door.