Monday, May 9th, at the Drop-In Center

It’s always so much fun to see the women we serve wearing new clothes from the clothes closet. It’s one thing to see cute clothing when it’s donated but it’s even better to see the women wearing it and smiling. One of the fun parts of Mondays is picking out clothing that we think each client will like. Please keep Lisieux in mind when donating clothes! We need casual clothing in all sizes.

Twenty women visited today and two were new. Several appointments were set to address ID’s, housing, and doctors appointments. When it comes to obtaining an ID, we walk alongside each client through the process so that she will know how to navigate it in the future if needed. The more the community grows, the more requests we get for help with all kinds of things. One of our clients is moving into subsidized housing this week and needed items to outfit her new place. We were able to load her car up with some essentials this afternoon. It turns out she is highly knowledgeable about biology so she and a volunteer had a fun conversation about that today.

One client got to see her young son this weekend and it was a fun visit for both of them. Another client brought her toddler with her today then proudly showed me pictures of her other two children.

The center was buzzing today with a volunteer grilling hotdogs outside, women making arts and crafts, rapid HIV tests being administered, and so on. One volunteer, Mary, enjoys working in the Lisieux yard and a client, Lou, has taken to working in the yard with her. It is really sweet to see the friendship bloom between Mary and Lou. If Mary is volunteering, Lou sticks right by her side. One of the coolest things to witness on Mondays are the relationships and bonds that are built between clients, volunteers, and staff. You never know who a client might gravitate to so it is awesome that there are so many loving women around on Mondays to lend an ear, a smile, or a hug.


Thursday, May 12th, on the Streets

It is so encouraging and inspiring to see and be a part of the different steps our women are taking as part of their journeys.

This week, one of our women booked a medical appointment in advance and made sure that I will be free to go with her. She expressed that she feels better going to appointments with someone from Lisieux instead of going alone. This community is her safe place.

While waiting with another woman (*Lucy) at the DMV, she shared with me how she used to work as a caregiver and really wants to get back into it. She talked about how rewarding it is. Lucy has a special love of working with elderly people and young children - she said she used to work with a group of 2-year-old children and would love to do that again also.

Another woman, *Carrie, shared with me how grateful she is for the community she has found in Lisieux. She said she struggled to find help in the past because she wasn’t able to seek treatment at traditional drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities. Being a part of the Lisieux Community is giving Carrie a safe place to grow and heal in her own time, she said. I find that mental illness is already hard enough for our women to talk about, much less truly come to terms with. The fact that many of the women are telling us how safe and comfortable they feel at Lisieux is huge.

We were able to assist three women in getting IDs from the DMV this week.

Today, we passed out a total of 27 care bags. Whitney, Marlise, and I took extra water and sunscreen out with us in the van this afternoon. So many of our women spend the majority of their time out in the sun, so dehydration and severe sunburn are very real possibilities in this weather.

The first woman we saw was on her way to catch a bus to see her boyfriend in the hospital. She asked us to keep him in our thoughts, as he was admitted this week with a severe case of pneumonia.

We connected with a new woman, who shared with us that her house caught on fire earlier this year, but she is still living in it and attempting to rebuild it.

Seeing and and experiencing all of these amazing relationships and connections that are being made with so many women makes me exceedingly grateful for all of our incredible volunteers. Whitney frequently says that we are powered by volunteers, and that is so true. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to sit and think about how many people truly love the women we serve.

Thank all of you for helping to mold Lisieux into such an amazing community.

*Names have been changed to protect privacy.