At our weekly meetings, The Sparrow’s Nest staff and volunteers begin by “checking our engines.” 

As a part of Executive Director Katie Roam’s passion for trauma-informed care, we do not simply ask “How are you?” because that question can be tough for anybody, particularly the Nest’s residents, to answer. Sometimes people feel unprepared to truly discuss how they feel. 

Instead, at the beginning of the year, we started to answer the “How are you?” question looking at pictures of toast, clouds, and sandwiches. The answers could be as simple as “I feel like a cumulus cloud today because it looks the prettiest.” Or, it could be “I feel like burnt toast because I’ve been doing so much today.” 

Katie believes it’s better to start a meeting with everyone having a greater understanding of how their fellow team members are feeling. These types of questions give people the opportunity to evaluate their outlooks and ground their evaluation in something concrete. 

Lately, we have transitioned to using Katie’s Engine Plate, pictured above. Katie moves the arrow to reflect each team member’s evaluation of their engine for the day. These evaluations can range from “I’m feeling slow today because it’s gloomy again” to “I’m feeling fast because I’m stressed from talking to people all day.”

During our pause, The Sparrow’s Nest has not been in the blue. We haven’t stopped working towards bettering the Nest in preparation for more residents to receive the care and support these mothers deserve. 

The Nest also hasn’t been in the red. We don’t want to speed through this pause without evaluating how we can improve our services to be the best version of the Nest for our residents. 

Thanks to our wonderfully supportive Sparrow community, we have been blessed to be in the green during this pause. Amazing individuals, churches, and organizations have helped the Nest in so many ways. The Nest’s renovations are making the house a better place for future residents to stay with their babies. Katie is bringing new energy and passion to the mission, and our staff, volunteers, and board members have been diligently working to improve the Nest’s policies and services. 

We are in the green and eager to reopen when The Nest is fully ready to care for more mothers and babies! 

If you’re looking for a way to support the Nest, reach out to us at info@thesparrowsneststl.org or check out volunteer opportunities on our website.