Suzannes Story

 

When I arrived at The Women’s Home, I was asked why I wanted to be there. My answer was that I didn’t want to die. Little did I know that not only was I going to live, but I was going to live a life of joy and abundance.

 

By this point, I had been through many life traumas. I had experienced great loss and sexual abuse as a child…and I did not have the skills to cope. The latest and worst of these traumas happened during my first rehabilitation program, right before I was scheduled to go home. My family came to tell me that my daughter had been killed in a car accident by a driver who was high on PCP. Three years later, I showed up at The Women’s Home.

 

From the beginning, it was obvious that The Women’s Home cared about my mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Their program included all the things I needed, from intensive therapy to computer and career courses to yoga. I was able to get counseling to help me cope with the traumas in my life. I felt safe to share all the secrets that I had never shared with anyone and received counseling for each.

 

I found new important life skills, such as self-advocacy, confidence, and problem- solving through individual and group counseling sessions. At The Women’s Home, I learned how to set goals and live a life of purpose. First, with the help of my case worker, and then, I was able to accomplish this on my own. I was able to do things like set up well-women’s visits and mammograms, get my social security card, and obtain a driver license’s and gold card. These were the start of my goals, and it made me feel good about myself to accomplish these tasks and then set new goals for myself.

 

When I think about The Women’s Home or am asked about it, I describe it as a place of healing. As a 53-year-old woman I had never felt any self-confidence. Between the therapy and support they provided, I now wake up each morning with joy and confidence. This is something I never thought would happen. With the help of The Women’s Home, I became job-ready and was able to fulfill my passion of working with Special Education students again.

 

One of the goals I had set for myself at The Women’s Home was to transition to its independent apartment housing at Jane Cizik Garden Place, which is where I am living now.  I wake up every day thankful and truly happy, and when I leave work at the end of each day, I find a serene, beautiful place to call home.

 

– Suzanne

 

WAVE Day 2018

For thirteen years, The Women’s Home has been a fortunate recipient of ExxonMobil’s WAVE (Women’s Annual Volunteer Event) Day community event. This year on April 27, 120 volunteers spent the day with us, providing our clients with valuable knowledge through workshops such as Interview Skills, Financial Literacy, Networking, Wellness, and Dress for Success. ExxonMobil brought inspiring speakers along with a delicious lunch for 40 of our clients as well as 16 ladies from the Santa Maria Hostel.  For their on-site service project, WAVE Day workers redecorated Barbara’s House, one of the cottages at our Montrose campus: they painted walls and cabinets and even donated a TV! Volunteers also donated clothes and helped organize and sort in The Cottage Shop.  Additionally, for every hour each volunteer served, ExxonMobil donates funding to The Women’s Home.

 

Thank you, WAVE Day volunteers and ExxonMobil!

Grand Opening Celebration of our Mabee WholeLife Service Center

 

 

On Thursday, May 3 we hosted a joyful Grand Opening Celebration and Dedication of our new Mabee WholeLife® Service Center located in Spring Branch.  Mayor Sylvester Turner presided over the ribbon cutting and emphasized the importance of this new Service Center to the Houston community.

 

Thanks to our many collaborative partners, The Mabee WholeLife Service Center has begun offering a range of essential services to the community including behavioral healthcare for adults and children, summer enrichment programming taught by Boys & Girls Club of Houston, healthcare services through the Spring Branch Community Health Center (a Federally Qualified Health Clinic), and a greenspace that encompasses an outdoor classroom certified by the Nature Explore Program. We are also continuing to form partnerships with key community partners to bring additional services to the Spring Branch community. For instance, we are working with the Harris County Public Library to bring in a mobile library and educational literacy programs. 

 

In addition to long-term programs, we are also able to implement programs to meet immediate needs of the community. For instance, following Hurricane Harvey, The Women’s Home received disaster relief funding from the United Way of Greater Houston and St. Martin’s Episcopal Church to address the basic needs of families whose children attend Treasure Forest Elementary School (in Spring Branch). This generous support has enabled us to offer a bi-weekly, pop-up pantry at our Service Center. Since the beginning of February, there have been six pop-up pantries held for families, and as of May 1, we have provided basic needs support to 43 area families (246 adults and 116 children).

 

From funding by private donors and supportive foundations to federal funds provided by the City of Houston’s Housing and Community Development Department (HCDD), The Mabee WholeLife Service Center is truly a community effort. “The Women’s Home embodies the spirit of complete communities and is a testament to the resiliency of Houstonians,” says Tom McCasland, the Director of HCDD. “They never hesitate to roll up their sleeves and get to work to strengthen the community through time, effort and supportive service.”

 

Over the next eighteen months, as all of our programs are put into place, we anticipate being able to service 6,000 people annually.  We are deeply grateful to all of the donors who made our Mabee WholeLife Service Center possible.

Pop-Up Pantry Project

 

 

Hurricane Harvey impacted us all, in one way or another. The Women’s Home received disaster relief funding from the United Way of Greater Houston and St. Martin’s Episcopal Church to address the basic needs of families whose students attend Treasure Forest Elementary School in Spring Branch. This generous support has enabled us to offer a biweekly, pop-up, basic needs pantry at our new Mabee WholeLife® Service Center.

 

Since the beginning of February, there have been six pantry dates at our Service Center for families. To date, we have provided basic needs support to 43 area families to date (246 adults and 116 children).

 

At the beginning of March, The Women’s Home expanded the pantry’s offerings to include clothing from our pop-up Cottage shop at the Center.  Eligible participants receive a $50 voucher to purchase clothing. We are working in conjunction with staff at Treasure Forest Elementary School to share information regarding the pantry and issue vouchers to eligible families.

 

Through our bi-weekly pantries, families have also had access to free legal aid, assistance signing up for state and federal assistance (CHIP, SNAP, WIC, etc.) and information about low-cost health care.

 

Thanks to the generosity of our funders, we were able to purchase a commercial refrigerator for our Pantry Project. Now we can offer free prepared meals and fresh produce to the families accessing the pantry through a partnership with Second Servings of Houston, a local non-profit that picks up excess prepared food from regulated food businesses, such as hotels, arenas, and cafeterias, and delivers it safely to non-profit meal providers that serve the hungry. A new refrigerator may not be glamorous or seem like much, but it, along with our Second Servings partnership, has provided us with the capacity to provide basic needs assistance to low-income families after the life of our Pantry Project as well.

 

Many families have expressed sincere gratitude for the food and other assistance they’ve received. Some have shared their stories from Harvey and told us how—all these months later—they are still suffering financial setbacks from the disaster. Over half of the families we have served are caring for three or more children, so every bit of help we can offer makes a difference.

Partnership with Harris County Public Library

We are currently forming a partnership with the Harris County Public Library (HCPL) to bring a mobile library and educational literacy programs to our Mabee WholeLife® Service Center. As part of our initial efforts, we held an after-school story time and book give-away on March 27, 2018. HCPL brought science-related activities for the kids, read stories, and entertained with one of their costumed mascots “Owlbatron.” They also brought the Curiosity Cruiser—a mobile library where the children were able to choose six free, brand-new books to take home to start their own personal libraries.  

We’re excited about this new partnership and look forward to what’s to come! 

2017 Triumph Raffle for Chopard Diamond Necklace

Thanks to the generosity of Chopard in River Oaks, The Women’s Home will raffle off a stunning necklace from the Ice Cube Collection at the Triumph Luncheon. Directly inspired by the vision of ice cubes with their cubic shape and alluring frosty sharpness, this daring piece quietly boasts immaculately semi-set diamonds and a geometrical twist. The multi-faceted necklace is fashioned in 18k yellow gold (ethical  fair-mined certified). With a touch of understated sparkle, it is easy to see why this is one Chopard’s most popular collections.

Raffle tickets will be available for purchase online until 12:00 PM (CST) on Thursday, November 16, 2017Individuals may purchase raffle tickets in person at the event on Friday, November 17, 2017.

Rules and Regulations

  • ELIGIBILITY: Must be 21 years or older to purchase a raffle entry. Purchasers of raffle tickets must qualify under Texas Law.  All federal, state & local laws & regulations apply. Raffle tickets are non-transferable & non-refundable; all ticket sales are final.
  • DRAWINGS:  A maximum of 500 tickets will be sold for this raffle.   Ticket prices are 1 ticket for twenty-five & No/100 Dollars ($25.00) or 5 tickets for one hundred & No/100 Dollars ($100.00). Tickets can be purchased until November 17, 2017 or until tickets are sold out, whichever comes first. All purchases of tickets are non-refundable. In this raffle there will be one winner & there is no possibility of a tie.
  • ODDS:  A maximum of 500 tickets will be sold. The chances of winning are based upon the number of tickets actually sold. 
  • NOTIFICATION OF WINNERS: WINNERS DO NOT NEED TO BE PRESENT TO WIN. THE DRAWING WILL BE HELD ON November 17, 2017 at The Women’s Home Triumph Luncheon.
  • THE TICKET PRICE IS NOT TAX DEDUCTIBLE.
  • RELEASE: Entrants, by participating, agree to allow The Women’s Home to use their name, photo & statements in promotional material. The Women’s Home will not share other personal information from entries with other organizations.

 

ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Program

 

Summer Jobs imageVolunteer Houston image small

Since 1998, ExxonMobil has provided over $2.6 million in grants to Houston area nonprofit agencies through the Community Summer Jobs Program.  The program provides full-time college students with an eight-week paid summer internship to assist nonprofit organizations and gain experience at agencies with diverse mission areas.  The Women’s Home is honored to have been chosen once again to be a partnering organization for this great program.

Our internship requires a bright, dynamic, high-energy student interested in acquiring a broad range of personal and professional skills in the areas of non-profit fundraising, marketing and fashion retail management. In addition, the intern will gain an understanding of our program mission by working side by side with TWH clients at The Cottage Shop.  The internship will provide in-depth work experience with the support and training provided by The Women’s Home staff. For the full job description, click here.  If you’re interested in applying, please forward your resume to Debra Richmond at drichmond@thewomenshome.org.