Completing the Picture

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We’ve recently shared photos on Facebook of the beautiful bedroom makeovers that some of our generous supporters provided this summer. Having lovely things in a neat and orderly environment is important for our residents. It shows them that they are important and treasured, that they are loved with no strings attached. It shows them that we have their best interest at heart.

But you must understand that those pieces of furniture in the picture are not just beds. Each bed is a place of peace for a woman whose life on the streets was frightening and chaotic. Each bed is a place of safety for a woman who had previously been subjected to abuse and exploitation. Each bed is a place of shelter from the elements for a woman who has spent nights in the bug-infested heat of a Memphis summer or the bone-chilling cold of winter.  Each bed is a place of uninterrupted rest for a woman who may not have slept two hours straight in years. Each of those beds represents freedom, comfort, wellbeing, joy, and sometimes life itself. We want you to see and know that Lisieux is first and foremost a home. It is a place of companionship without exploitation. It is a place of healing and hope. It is a place of learning and growth. It is a place of building trust and friendship. It is a refuge for those who are wearier than you can ever imagine.

Yet something important is missing. We need a full-time paid social worker who is dedicated to the care of Lisieux residents and who will focus her attention on helping our women achieve the goal of self-sufficiency. We need someone who is trained to recognize the underlying causes of each resident’s particular struggles and to identify the resources that each one needs. Although we have access to specialized counselors from local organizations who work with our residents to resolve specific issues, we have come to realize that profound healing cannot be accomplished through a series of one-hour appointments. It takes a trained professional who can consistently spend time building a relationship with each woman to help her work through the complex range of issues from her past that threaten her future. We truly believe this is what will benefit our residents most.

Will you partner with us in raising enough money to employ a full-time social worker? We have accomplished much already: four of our former residents who keep in touch remain free from their former way of life, and all of them are working—one has her dream job, and another has held the same job for more than 15 months. One former resident is married, and one has been reunited with her sister. Help us complete the picture and provide even more consistent care for all who follow them.

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