BHM values and believes in the sacred nature of generous hospitality and attentive companionship.
Much of a BHM visit is centered around the sharing of food. Residents and volunteers gather in a common space to nourish together—marking a point of mutuality amidst sometimes obvious material disparity. Friendships or lives of individuals are celebrated through the sharing of a birthday cake, annual barbeques, and Christmas parties. Multiple helpings are always encouraged — a real treat as many residents have their portions determined by boarding home staff. Generous hospitality is key to BHM because it creates a point of gathering while also affirming that each individual is deserving of something beyond the bare minimum.
Also important to the BHM mission is the distinction between doing and being; recognizing the value of quiet attention and agenda-free presence.
For the most part, people coming to the boarding homes are institutional workers (e.g., nurses, social workers, police officers, etc); each one entering the home with a clear objective such as administering medication or checking on one’s living conditions. In contrast, the purpose of BHM visits is to allow relationship to unfold without the constraints of a strict goal-based timeline. Over one to two hours, team members strive to be present to those they sit with, cultivating radical companionship that sometimes lasts decades. The attention developed over BHM visits eventually transforms a team member’s way of seeing others, so that those who are generally rejected by the larger community are recognized for their strength, wisdom, and holiness.