Thank you to all our Winter Holiday Volunteers

volunteer appreciation image2The Winter Holidays can be a daunting time of year where our residents, despite all their hard work and progress feel the pain of their struggles more deeply than usual. Thankfully support from local volunteers helped make the 2015 holiday season a little brighter for our residents.

Every year a number of organizations host drives within their communities to provide needed items for our residents. This year a number of organizations, including Urban Leasing and Realty (ULR), Alpha Chi Omega, Avondale Civic Association, and Elevate all held toiletry drives benefitting The Women’s Home. Full size toiletries are among the most common basic needs of our treatment and transitional residents as well as the tenants of our single bedroom supportive housing facility, Jane Cizik Garden Place. ULR has hosted needs drives for Jane Cizik Garden Place for the last 3 years, helping to stock the complex’s emergency pantries that are on each floor of the three-story community. Alpha Chi Omega has also organized yearly drives supporting The Home for at least a decade every holiday season.
Several organizations this year donated gifts to our residents including American Intercontinental University, Cypress United Methodist Church, West U Rotary Club, and Shany Cosmetics. American Intercontinental University’s Houston campus donated purses they had collected and filled with toiletries for each of our residents. We featured Cypress United Methodist Church last December, for their continued dedication to bringing holiday boot boxes filled to the brim with essentials for our residents for over three decades. These boxes give them everything they need to look and feel their best when they begin their job searches. Each box includes a holiday card, candy can and a hand knit pair of slippers. Shany Cosmetics also helped residents put a little glamour to their look by donating makeup to our treatment and transitional residents. West U Rotary Club ensured our residents’ toes will be warm throughout the winter with their donation of slippers.

Kim Mathes, a member of The Women’s Home Partnership donated her time this New Year’s Eve to our residents. Kim has been one of our regular volunteers supporting our monthly birthday celebrations for our Treatment and Transitional residents. This year she helped them ring in the New Year with a game night at the suggestion of Manager of Residential Services, Nelda Allen. The residents chose Bingo as their game of choice and played for door prize donated to The Home. “Several ladies won bingo more than once and gave their door prize options to the other ladies who had not won. It was great to see the comradery. I admire each one of the women and have seen the wonderful benefits of their hard work and efforts through the program. Everyone affiliated with The Women’s Home is such an inspiration!” Kim said.

Support from these organizations and individuals made an incredible difference in our resident’s winter holiday season. We thank all of you for bringing our residents a little cheer for the end of the year.

Thank you for your support in 2015!

Scrapbook_Thank You scroll work [Converted]For nearly 60 years The Women’s Home has provided women in crisis the safety and support they need to recover and thrive. Without the generous contributions of time, money, and resources from our friends in the Houston community, we would not be able to help hundreds of women change their lives each year. As many of you know in 2016 we will expand our services with two new facilities in Spring Branch, a WholeLife® Service Center and housing for women and their families. These expansions will allow us to serve thousands of vulnerable Houstonians in need of stable housing, physical and mental health care, and education support.

Even as we expand our presence in Spring Branch, we will continue helping women in crisis overcome trauma and adversity to build whole lives in our treatment and transitional housing program in Montrose.

Throughout almost 60 years of operation, The Women’s Home has given thousands of lifetimes the platform to change for the better. Every step of the way, from when our very first resident Mary Brown first came through Mrs. Laura Sampson’s door, to when we first broke ground on our newest facilities in 2015, community support made it happen. We thank all of you for being a part of our friends, family and history and helping to build whole lives here in Houston.

Jane Cizik Garden Place Holiday Party

Jane Cizik TreeIn October 2015 we wrote about how case management at our single bedroom supportive housing facility Jane Cizik Garden Place helps foster community by keeping residents connected with events on and off the campus. In addition to helping foster community for residents, as case managers at Jane Cizik Garden Place (JCGP), Sr. Case Manager, Ashley Stratton and Case Manager Nena Chima provide residents access to a variety of support services. These support services include access to an on-site pantry, bus passes, transportation to food pantries, groceries and events, and assistance with accessing support programs such as SNAP, social security, medical insurance, and seeking employment. Of the 90 tenants at JCGP, in 2015, 83 of them used case management services a total number of 1,203 times. These services are the backbone of supportive housing, helping our residents not only maintain their housing, but also giving them the tools and resources they need to live healthy, independent lives.

This December Ashley and Nena gave residents the opportunity to connect with each other while also helping others in Spring Branch gain the resources they need to do their best. They organized the resident’s yearly holiday party, making the RSVP a donation of school supplies for Treasure Forest Elementary School where many students often need help replenishing their supplies after winter break. More than 30 complex residents RSVP’d, collecting over 150 school supply items that will give bright young students the tools they need to excel in the spring.

Partygoers enjoyed a hearty holiday meal featuring turkey and ham with all the fixings before getting in touch with their crafty side decorating their choice of a Styrofoam tree, snowflake, or reindeer with ribbon, wrapping paper, stickers and trimmings. The craft supplies were donated by volunteers Carrie Wilsong and Amber Bernhardt. Volunteer Jacquelyn Strenger helped facilitate the evening’s festivities. Residents had the chance to compete for best decorated craft and won raffle prizes throughout the night.

The final activity of the evening was led by volunteer group Sing! Sing! Sing! (SingX3) a local choir group that gives vocalists of all skill levels the opportunity to sing and learn to harmonize together with skilled musicians. SingX3’s leader Barbara Reichlin contacted The Home seeking places to perform and their troupe was a perfect fit for the holiday party. SingX3 led partygoers in an hour of sing along caroling, complete with instruments and the words projected for everyone to follow along. The evening culminated with a rendition of Silent Night which the choir recorded and you can listen to here.

Guests were able to choose a make-up bag or purse of choice filled with toiletries donated by American Intercontinental University as their party favor for the evening. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped our residents at Jane Cizik Garden Place have a fantastic evening!

The Women’s Home Weekly Brown Bag Lunch

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We’ve talked before about our weekly brown bag lunches for our treatment and transitional housing residents, where different speakers come share their knowledge and stories. Brown Bag provides individuals and organizations opportunities to share their unique skills and insights with our residents, providing education and inspiration in line with our WholeLife® Program. Here’s some of the incredible groups and speakers we’ve had share their time and stories with our residents recently as well as speakers we’re excited will be coming soon.

The Women’s Fund is a local nonprofit dedicated to providing health education for women and adolescent girls through seminars, classes and publications. Volunteers from The Women’s Fund come the second brown bag of each month to present workshops to our residents. Subjects in their classes include, heart health, exercise, building good nutrition, how to advocate for your health, and keeping track of your medical records.

Lola Clay is a licensed counselor who has trained at the Jung Center here in Houston and received her Ph.D in Jungian Studies from Saybrook University. Jungian psychology, also known as analytical psychology, is based on the research of Carl Jung which emphasizes individualized care to help clients achieve wholeness. Lola Clay spoke at Brown Bag for the first time in August of 2015 and will return in February to speak again.

Linda Lewis has been involved with The Women’s Home for nearly 20 years after being introduced by fellow longtime supporter and member of The Women’s Home Advisory Board, Adele Pieper. She always appreciates any opportunity to work directly with our residents and is impacted by “seeing how their life changes as they work their way through their personal difficulties and regain confidence in who they are.  There is little that separates us, and they remind me how grateful I should be for the blessings in my own life.” January 22, 2016 she will be speaking about the importance of creativity and how each of us is creative in our own way. Linda, who has woven unique cloth for clothing and home décor for over 30 years, found a creative outlet that combines her love of texture and color with working with her hands. “Much of my work is influenced by what I see in nature’s colors and textures which are full of wonder.”

Sahar Pazirandeh, founder of Free Your Star Foundation and author of Find Your Voice, the life you crave is a conversation away, is dedicated to helping others realize their strength and potential. An Iran native, Sahar shared her personal story “of being born in a war, surviving abuse, fighting addictions, and finally finding my voice. I highlighted the reflection of her [the residents’] journey in mine. How our histories don’t need to be anything alike of us to hold each other up as women, as Shero’s (she-roes).”  About The Home and our residents, Sahar said, “It’s a place filled with Shero’s. Almost every woman in The Women’s Home could label herself a victim, instead she has chosen to become the Shero of her story. She has made the choice to be brutally honest with herself on one hand, and completely compassionate on the other. You can’t help but support a woman on this journey. It’s often said, help a woman heal, and she will help an entire community.”

Brown Bag is a fantastic opportunity for anyone seeking to get involved with The Women’s Home who may not have the time to volunteer on a regular basis. We are always looking for more speakers who can share insights and resources relevant to the since tenants of our WholeLife Program: spiritual, mental and emotional, physical, financial, vocational, and social wellness.

If you’re interested in speaking at brown bag, contact Volunteer & Collaborations Coordinator Jenna Jackson at jjackson@thewomenshome.org or 713-568-1356.

Close the Gap Challenge-We met our goal!

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In December 2015, The Women’s Home launched a 72 hour online challenge to help us close the gap in our $27 million capital campaign for our new WholeLife® Service Center and housing for women and their families. Thanks to an amazing outpouring of support, we surpassed our $50,000 goal! We appreciate this incredible support from our friends and community, thank you for helping us change the lives of Houston women and their families!

Listen to The Women’s Home Executive Director, Paula Paust on KPFT 90.1 FM’s Open Journal

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On Wednesday January 13, 2016 The Women’s Home spoke on KPFT 90.1 FM’s live morning show, Open Journal. They discussed The Home’s mission and history, as well as our latest development updates for our new housing complex for women and their families and our WholeLife® Service Center.

 

 

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The Women’s Home on Elaine Turner’s Big Ideas

Houston’s handbag queen and owner of Elaine Turner Designs, Elaine Turner featured The Women’s Home in the latest episode of her online reality show, Elaine’s Big Ideas.

Elaine and her stylist team, with the help of SoK Owner and The Women’s Home Board Member, Alden Clark helped one of our residents, Mary, boost her confidence as she prepared to start on her job search.

Thank you to Mary for having the courage to share her story and to Alden, Elaine, and all of her team for their heartfelt work.

Watch the episode right now:

Premiering the episode on her website, Elaine wrote to viewers:

I’m so excited to share with you this inspiring, New Year EBI episode, A New Year, A New You: A Transformation of heart, mind and soul.

 I feel so blessed to have worked with The Women’s Home over the past year.  I was inspired to get even more involved and engage in a firsthand experience of working with one of their incredible clients, Mary Burgess. Mary is a 42 year old, beautiful woman who has been struggling with abuse, mental illness and addiction for most of her adult life. She was on the brink of going to prison and an opportunity to enter into a comprehensive, whole life recovery program presented itself to her by The Women’s home. Well, the rest is history and Mary is a living testament to the power of transformation. Mary discovered the strength to change her self-destructive path through the support of The Women’s Home and in her belief that there was a better future for herself. Ultimately, Mary made a conscious choice to change the trajectory of her life. She discovered that eternal, perfect self that is so often buried beneath years of shame, guilt and hardship- inspiring!

 My intent on creating this episode was to engage in an intimate one on one interaction with Mary, and to educate and inspire her on the role fashion can play on her self-improvement journey. My belief is when you boil it all down, fashion is simply a vehicle toward self-care, self-discovery and self-expression. Fashion is an enhancer. It has the power to enhance what’s already there. My passion is empowering women. I want to free them from the confines of what an industry (fashion/beauty) might perceive as beautiful and to destroy the barriers fashion so often creates-  fear-induced, never good enough language, shame driven body imagery etc… These are just a couple of themes we must redefine. Ultimately, my hope is to redefine fashion one woman at a time. 

 I am a firm believer that the work The Women’s Home provides is an essential part of not only our local community’s success, but ultimately the work we do right here in Houston impacts women across the world. To the say the least, it’s in all of our best interest to protect, encourage and support women. Liya Kebede said it so perfectly, “To invest in one woman’s recovery, is investing in human rights, future generations and our own long term national interests”  

So please join me on this journey of transformation, compassion, hope and understanding.

XO,

Elaine

Adara Medical Spa Opens Heart and House to benefit The Women’s Home

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The Women’s Home was honored to partner with Adara Medical Spa for their inaugural Spring Open House and Kentucky Derby Pre-Party Soiree held on Saturday, May 7th.

Beautiful spring weather welcomed guests to the spa’s spring informational event filled with beauty, delicious coffee, crepes, and bubbly. Attendees had the opportunity to mingle with spa staff and brand representatives, watch live demonstrations, and receive discounts on various treatments and products purchased that day as well as a fabulous swag bag. Members of The Women’s Home Young Professionals hosted an informational table at the event. Adara graciously donated over $2,500 to benefit The Women’s Home including a generous personal donation from Karan Sra, MD, co-owner of Adara Medical Spa and Dermatological Association of Texas.

Located in the heart of the Museum District, Adara is an upscale med spa offering a wide range of invasive and non-invasive cutting edge treatments. Their state of the art facility offers guests access to rejuvenating treatments through highly trained on-site medical doctors and a relaxing spa-like atmosphere. Opened in June 2014, the spa is owned and operated by the Dermatological Association of Texas, one of Houston’s leading dermatological practices which has 3 locations in the Houston area and a 4th location opening this July in Pearland. For more information, please visit http://www.adarahouston.com/

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2016 reNew and reDo Fashion Show Kick Off, Thursday, April 21st 6:30-8:30 PM

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Our smiling hostess, Julie Roberts
Our smiling hostess, Julie Roberts

A smashing success!
Over 90 celebrants looking forward to our exciting fashion event this summer were treated like royalty by the incredible staff at Elizabeth Anthony. Special thanks to Julie Roberts for the red carpet treatment Thursday, April 21 in her beautiful store. Kicking off our upcoming event, chairs Staci Henderson and Michael Pearce graced the stairway…..Staci in a beautifully chic vintage gown purchased at the reNew event last year! Old friends and new committed to supporting the event with pledges of joining the host committee- a group that will insure the success of the August 17 tradition at The Wortham Foyer. Says Roberts, “I soon realized every lady deserves a red carpet experience when shopping for that special moment, so my mission evolved to apply the same principals to customers of all ages.”

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