By Griselda Williams, Mental Health Services Manager
I was talking to Joshua Chittum, Children’s Program Coordinator, recently about the village-like activity that we saw at Community LINC among the women residents. We discussed how refreshing it was to see the activity and how good it felt that our families were coming together and providing support to one another. Several of the women residents shared personal stories of not having family supports or social supports that they could count on. Those same women, however, were providing that support to one another in the village. I heard Tanya tell Carol that she had just bought a car and when Carol needed to go to the hospital to deliver her baby, Tanya would give her a ride. The women in the village shared stories with Carol about when they were pregnant and what their deliveries were like. They also shared empathy with Carol because her baby was a week overdue. When Samantha came to the village, she would bring coupons for the other women. The women would then discuss the use of coupons and which stores had better bargains on food items for the family. Deborah offered to have her teenage daughter babysit Marianna’s two children when Marianna shared that, with two young active children, she seldom has time to journal. Alice gave Maia some diapers when she had a low supply and would not be able to go to the store to purchase more until the end of the week. Recently, during a program group on the topic of parent-child relationships, mothers with older children were giving village support to a younger mom with young children. They shared their wisdom about bed time routines, how to manage housework and the importance of the family meal. Yesterday, during a meeting with Rita, I shared my observations about the village activity. Rita confided that before Mariah moved to permanent housing in May, she gave Rita her infant car seat. This provided great relief for Rita. Rita will deliver her baby next month and did not have a car seat to bring her baby home from the hospital. Rita added that while she is excited to move to permanent housing with her family in July, she wished she could take the village with her.