Stories - Lowell Transitional Living Center: Joshua White

Joshua White, passionate about investing in the community, assists in improving the human condition of Lowell. The Lowell Transitional Living Center is a 90-bed facility that offers shelter to those whom need it, and access to programs and prepared meals for those that live within the Lowell community. While the need is great, the Lowell Transitional Living Center is committed to valuing each person that comes into its shelter. Joshua emphasized the effort that comes with maintaining a dry shelter, a safe place and sustaining and building relationships within the community. “It’s a process, and staff are very dedicated to that process,” Joshua stated. Often the weight of the world can be a lot to bear on your own, and having staff that understand the needs and struggles of those seeking services make all of it more worthwhile. “We love what we do. We look forward to work and we leave every day feeling like we accomplished something.” While Joshua described the services that the LTLC offered as a partnership between the staff and those in the shelter, he remains impressed to see that over a course of time at the LTLC a person that came in struggling can take the steps to make an impact in their own lives. “That’s rewarding to see someone who was initially resistant to working with us become positively motivated.” Working in human services has its challenges, and the small successes are rewarding to all those on the team. “Staff here, although they become more realistic, they still have this super hero mentality that they are going to save the world.” The Lowell Transitional Living Center is definitely making great strides every day to help those in need in our Lowell community.

Establishing relationships in the community is very important to Joshua and he believes that one way is through talking to people about what the organization does, the successes and challenges that they face and another is to be more actively engaged and present in the Lowell community. He has a great vision for the LTLC and hopes to develop a day program that clients could utilize. Right now there are no day programs offered at the shelter. He’s hoping the community will become involved in developing workshops and classes, and this is just one way to begin creating partnerships within the community to help those in need. As the only single adult shelter in Lowell, and the largest outside Boston – the Lowell Transitional Living Center has no time limits that can prevent a client from utilizing the services that they offer. This is important for their clients because the challenges they face often are not in a set time frame. Building a community that understands those challenges is an essential part of their success.

The Lowell Transitional Living Center started in 1986 with just 20 beds by a group of concerned citizens who had noticed people living in their cars. Through extensive expansion over the years, now the 90-bed facility includes dorms and apartments offered through Lowell Housing. When people come together to make an impact on an individual’s life, the impact makes a difference for the whole community. While Joshua, originally from the Cape, saw Lowell as a city that was rebuilding itself, he loves the energy of the community here. Being motivated to give back, he can be found walking through the streets of Lowell. Taking a seat on benches and stairs to chat with clients and those that could use the encouragement to reach out for help is an important part in building trust with those he serves and those in the community that might not understand the positive efforts of the Lowell Transitional Living Center.