Moving Forward: Survivor Advocates

by Sandra Ferrell, Executive Director

I am anxious for us to move to the next step of our journey as the Lisieux Community. Over the last several months, our Board Chair has blogged about the planned drop-in center. She told about the rooms in the house, why each is important. The thing we haven’t yet told you is about some new programs we will implement to help the women we serve.

We have planned the drop-in center in communication with the other programs in town because we only see one part of the problem. Each organization approaches the issues from a unique perspective. They see things we do not see.

One program we have planned is the Survivor Advocate program. We anticipate hiring several women part time to help with our expanded services, and we have recognized that these Survivors have a unique gift to bring to the program and that each survivor has a unique history to deal with. Each survivor is also in a different place so far as job skills and job history.

We want to honor all they bring to the table and to facilitate continued healing. So we will use part of their time to provide counseling, both group and one-on-one.

Okay, now I have a dilemma. There is a person who has had a part-time job for several months. She is in her own home. When she is present on Thursdays, the whole time goes smoothly. She is an advocate for the women because she has been able to move forward and she wants that to happen for the women still out there.

Because we cannot congregate for a long period of time as we once did, I stop and meet all who are nearby and then move back to the streets. She might stay in one place and encourage any latecomers to stay until I come back around. She has actually gone with me into the streets nearby to help me locate others.

Please keep this program in mind. If she had additional income, she would be more secure and be able to meet challenges in a better way. And she would be gratified to be able to help the women who are still un-housed or under-housed. That means a lot to her.


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