2014-2015 – An Amazing Year

We at the Community of St. Therese of Lisieux are excited as we recently completed our first year hosting residents. The year has been full; following are some of the milestones:

  • United Housing Inc provided the house for $1 a year for 2 years and sold to us at a reduced price
  • The Presbyterian Women (PCUSA) have awarded a grant for Capital Funds earmarked for the remainder of house purchase price and additions/enhancements of the house and lot.
  • Idlewild Presbyterian Church provided a grant to pay utilities for a year.
  • World Day of Prayer provided a grant to assist with transportation for a year.
  • Christian Brothers University provided for the women at Christmas and has performed service work.
  • Several churches have donated cash and household items and done service work: Church of the Holy Communion, Balmoral Presbyterian Church, Collierville Presbyterian Church, Church Women United (an ecumenical group), First Presbyterian Church, Episcopal Church Women, Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Parkway Gardens United Presbyterian Church, Buntyn Presbyterian Church, St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, St. John’s Episcopal Church, St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral.
  • Parkwood Behavioral Health Services is a sponsor of the fundraiser.
  • Memphis Herb Society provided funds and advice to plant a garden.

“May you not forget the infinite possibilities
that are born of faith.”

– St. Thérèse de Lisieux

  • The Lisieux Community has been chosen to participate in a pilot program of Thistle Farms. Our women will be the face of Thistle Farms in Memphis and the roll out to other sister organizations across the nation will be based on lessons learned in this pilot. Their grant will provide salaries to our residents as they train in marketing and sales and proceeds from the sale of the product will benefit the Lisieux Community.
  • We have helped 9 women gain physical/mental/emotional stability so they can focus on their recovery.
  • 5 women graduated from intensive outpatient care (IOP) at Serenity Recovery Center via a grant for women who have been exposed to HIV.
  • 3 women graduated from a Personal & Career Development program at HopeWorks.
  • 2 women are currently attending Southwest Community College, one will major in art and the other in social work.
  • 1 woman has obtained employment and is continuing to work on personal skills.
  • 2 women obtained full-time jobs and moved out on their own.
  • Each of the women has established a relationship with a counselor either at IOP, HopeWorks, Rape Crisis Center and/or Alliance Health Services (AHS) or Case Management to work on trauma that preceded the addiction and prostitution.
  • Each of the women has established a relationship with Christ Community Health Services to be evaluated and receive ongoing physical health care.
  • Each of the women has established a relationship with either AHS or Case Management to evaluate / supervise medicines for mental health issues.
  • One additional woman came to us and did not qualify for our program but she was in distress after a sexual assault, death of a grandchild by murder, and loss of a safe place to stay. She was using alcohol to cope. We took her to Crisis Stabilization Unit for immediate assistance and they helped her find a safe place to live as she began her recovery.
  • Two women relapsed soon after coming to our community and we were able to get them into an in-patient facility for treatment. Both of them came to us unable to trust family and we helped them build that trust. One of the women went back to a program near family and the other went into a more structured long-term care facility. She is currently living in an apartment near her family.

We have learned so much – from refining the way we talk with prospective residents or the facility where they have been receiving care to ensure they are a good fit for the program to being more flexible with requirements / timeframes for residents to complete various parts of the program.

At this time, all staff is volunteer. We have an Executive Director, an Admissions Director who is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Addictions Counselor (LADAC), Spiritual Director / Outreach Director, Event Planner and Volunteer Coordinator. We have caring friends who take the women to appointments and 12 step meetings. We have had lessons on nutrition and cooking and yoga instructors have come for weekly yoga.