Lodi women help each other
Women helping women program provides support, resources.
by Karen West –
The Lodi, Calif. corps’ Women Helping Women program is for women of any age. Some come to us in a broken, depressed and emotionally wounded state; they use the resources, encouragement, and unconditional love that they find here as the strength they need to launch themselves into a positive and productive future.
Structured around building awareness of community resources, education, fun activities, and learning, the program leads women to help and support each other in a clean, sober and spiritual environment. Speakers from the community share resources available to the women and their children, and educate them on topics such as physical and mental well being, parenting, legal matters, household tips, and crafts. Some weeks, we take a break and enjoy activities such as bingo, clothing exchanges, or picnics.
An important component of the program is providing a safe place to build friendships with other women who have had common life experiences.
Women get involved through different ways: word of mouth, a friend, or when they apply for food, utility, or other corps assistance programs. Some are referred by mental health departments or local counselors, and a number have come from our new family emergency shelter at Hope Harbor.
Women involved in the program are able to find comfort during their time of need. Homelessness, in particular, can cause deep feelings of isolation, depression, desperation and vulnerability. Participating in a program with others who have had the same experiences—and made it through—is an important part of shedding negative feelings and being able to focus on a proactive, positive solution to a situation.
Many of the women in the program have also become members of the body of Christ as a part of the spiritual family at the Lodi Corps.