In our Life Skills, Education and Arts program (LEAP) classes, women at Calvary are encouraged to express themselves creatively through music, art, and writing. For many women, the act of writing can provide a sense of agency that emboldens and empowers them.
Having a creative outlet can be helpful in starting to heal from past traumas, but it can also be a way to celebrate the sense of community and sisterhood women find at Calvary. In one recent LEAP class, Janice penned this poem about the sense of sisterhood she feels here. Enjoy!
They came together
One by one
They lived a a community
Then as a family
Strangers to friends
Friends to sisters
They say it can’t be
But how can it not
They are the Second Floor Women
If you would like to lead a LEAP class or learn more about the program, please contact Elaine Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The SAMHSA paper comes amid increasing scrutiny of the ability of America’s health care system to handle issues of mental illness.” Nearly 1 in 5 Americans Suffers From Mental Illness Each Year (Newsweek)
“In the year since revealing his secret, Aaron says he’s doing better. He has more friends and has been living in a foster home since October.” A Homeless Teen Finds Solace in a Teacher And a Recording (NPR)
“A minimum wage increase that lifts many families out of poverty should therefore reduce public expenditure on this program. But the relationship may be more complex.” The Effects of Minimum Wages on SNAP Enrollments and Expenditures (Center for American Progress)
“With the proposed change, an accuser would need to demonstrate only a “preponderance of evidence,” or just enough to tip the scale in the applicant’s favor.” Maryland likely to ease burden of proof for domestic violence victims (Washington Post)
We are so excited to introduce you to the newest member of the Calvary staff, Stephanie, on the blog today! Stephanie joined the development team last month as the Events and Donor Relations Associate. Get to know her below!
Tell us a little about yourself!
I am originally from Rockford, Illinois, home of Cheap Trick, the Rockford Peaches, and the birthplace of the sock monkey. I went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and I love all things Wisconsin: Badgers, Packers, brats, and cheese!
What’s your favorite thing about working at Calvary so far?
Everyone has been so warm and welcoming! I couldn’t be happier to be joining the Calvary team. I couldn’t have found a better fit!
What are you looking forward to most about working at Calvary?
I’m eager to meet and develop relationships with our generous supporters, but most of all, I look forward to seeing the women at Calvary work towards their goals and achieve independent living.
Share a fun fact about yourself!
I was born on April Fool’s Day. It was during halftime of the Georgetown v. Villanova final four game. When my dad called to tell my aunt I was born, she hung up on him because she thought it was an April Fool’s joke.
Despite the continual snow flurries that have persisted this winter, March is here, and warmer weather is just around the corner! If you’re itching to take your fitness back outside this spring, you’re in luck! On Saturday, March 29, our friends at the DC Running Club will host the women’s only Runway 5k/ 5 Miler Race to benefit Calvary! The theme for this year’s Runway 5k is Where Fashion Meets Fitness, so grab your snazziest running gear, get those running shoes on and start training now!
The run starts at 8:00 am at Hains Point (the southernmost tip of East Potomac Park). All who cross the red carpet finish line will be treated to a photo finish, a long stem rose, and a custom Runway 5K / 5 Miler medal! All levels of walkers and runners are welcome, so whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, register today and join us on Team Calvary!
If you’re interested in lending a hand at the event, you can join our outstanding team of volunteers for the event by emailing email@example.com. Either way, don’t miss the fun! See you at the starting line!
WHEN: Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 8 am
WHERE: Hains Point, 1100 Ohio Drive, Washington, DC 20001
REGISTRATION CLOSING DATE: Friday, March 28, 2014
ORGANIZER’S WEBSITE: http://www.dcrunningclub.com
“A lack of partitions . . . created an environment in which families with young children had insufficient privacy when changing and sleeping, ruled Administrative Law Judge John P. Dean.” Judge’s Ruling Complicates How DC Deals with Homeless Families on Freezing Nights (Washington Post)
“Between January and March 31 of this year, the coalition wants to end homelessness for 190 veterans, including 56 who are chronically homeless.” Veterans NOW Coalition On Track To House Over 400 Homeless Veterans in D.C. By March 31 (DCist)
“The retail cost of the materials to build the first six houses was somewhere between $10,000 and $12,000 per house, says Guidi. But many of the building materials were donated, and all of the labor was done in a massive volunteer effort.” Tiny houses for the homeless: an affordable trend catches on (Christian Science Monitor)
“When I came to Calvary, I knew this was my chance to better myself.”
Monica moved to the Washington, DC area with her sister, but after a death in the family, she was left alone. She explains, “I just wasn’t prepared. I didn’t have any money saved.” Monica had never been on her own, and she tried to stay with friends, but felt like she was imposing. She stayed a few nights in emergency shelter, but didn’t feel safe. That’s when Monica found Calvary.
She did an internet search for women’s housing in the area and the first on the list was Calvary. She remembers her first night, talking with her case manager, and thinking, “I can see myself here.”
With the support of her case manager, Monica worked to improve her health and to start saving money. She attended life skills classes that helped her learn how to budget and manage her income. She also participated in on-site therapy where she was able to work through the trauma she had experienced. She says that the thing that helped her most was the safety she felt at Calvary. Once she knew she was safe, she was able to start making real changes in her life.
While at Calvary, Monica says she was motivated by her nieces and nephews. She beams when she describes her dream of having a spare bedroom for them to stay in. She has plans for game nights and movie nights. “I have to make a home so they can come visit me,” she says.
Monica’s love of children led her to her current part-time job at a preschool. She describes the amazing changes she sees in children as they learn to say the alphabet or write their name. “I feel honored just to watch them play,” she explains. The children inspire her to keep learning and to keep playing. “I guess I love it so much because I’m just a kid at heart,” she says.
Monica is busy making plans for her future. She has successfully moved out of Calvary into an independent housing program. From there, she is working towards her goal of having her own apartment, with plenty of room for her nieces and nephews to visit. She is continuing to build her job experience so that she can work full-time in education. She is most proud of the new level of independence she achieved. She smiled when she said, “Even one of the other ladies here told me she was proud of me.”
During her time at Calvary, Monica worked towards her goals and took the critical first steps toward independence and stability. “It wasn’t always easy,” she says, “but I stuck it out. Calvary gets you where you need to go.”
Last Saturday, members of the Calvary community, including members of our Board of Directors, donors, and other friends, let out their inner poker shark at Laughing Man Tavern in DC for the 3rd Annual Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament.
Guests enjoyed complimentary appetizers and seasonal beverages provided by the Tavern, and played hands of either Texas Hold ‘Em or blackjack. After settling in at the poker tables, they engaged in round after spirited round of poker! The evening was a fun and festive one, and benefited Calvary’s expanding programs to boot!
Many thanks to the event’s generous hosts , Wasfi Alnabki, Dani Mackey and Joanna Mason and to the friendly folks at the Laughing Man Tavern for their continued hospitality. And of course, big thanks to everyone who came out to support Calvary at the tournament! Check out our albums on Flickr and Facebook for the full photo set!