Gus: The New Guy
An update here on the blog is long overdue and I still have yet to introduce myself to many of you and give you a bit of my story. So I’m going to the former by way of the latter.
My name is Gus Kroll, I’m the newest member of the HOMEpdx team, I started joining Luke and Bruce during their Tuesday daytimes around downtown back in June. At that point I was 6 months into being a stay at home dad with my infant daughter Flannery and was starting to go a bit stir crazy and needed to get out of the house (“I want to talk to someone about almost anything! Please!”). I asked Luke, who I knew worked with folks living outside, if I could join him some weekday. Long story short, it was a great fit and as Luke transitioned out of HOMEpdx it seemed to made a lot of sense to everyone involved for me to take his spot. I officially started on staff back in October.
HOME’s a great fit for me and it feels like it’s been a long time coming.
I grew up in Eastern Washington with my Mom, Dad and little sister, Annie. Growing up I remember my mother teaching me regularly of the importance of caring for others, that this was one of the central callings of those who would follow Jesus of Nazareth. While my theology has changed over the years, that has not; I’m still interested in following Jesus and I still convinced that to do so means we must be welcoming and caring for those the rest of the world treat as disposable.
After getting out of High School I spent time at a Bible School in Europe (where I’d meet my future wife Rachel), worked the odd job here and there, went to community college, spent time at all kinds of intentional christian communities and even spent a number of weeks under the Burnside Bridge (not something I regret but I don’t recommend others do this – that’ll be a story for a later blog maybe) After taking my time making my way through college I finally earned my Bachelor of Arts degree from The Evergreen State College in 2009 where I had studied Unions and Civil Rights Movements and a intensive study program around the costs and effects of prisons in American society.
Since then I’ve worked pretty consistently in the world of direct care social services, in-home care with adults with developmental disabilities, foster kids and at an overnight shelter. These past jobs have I think prepared me well working with HOMEpdx because I understand what the world our friends have to go into to get services looks like. I know what it’s like to become jaded by the system that is put in place to connect the “clients” with the services but never a truly human connection. I’ll talk about that more in a couple of weeks.
Be good to each other.