Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Eden House: Welcome Home

                 Eden House is one woman closer to a full house!

                This month we welcomed another resident into our program and it really made me start to think about what it 9.27 Flowersmeans to have a home.  On the few tours of Eden House that I’ve tagged along for (and the one that I led!), there was always an emphasis on the fact that we create a safe living environment filled with love—a home that many of the women we serve have never had before.

When a new resident comes in, she is given a key (which is really a prop, but that’s not the point). The point, I believe, is that she is able to open her own doors and enter a space that she can call home.  Maybe she is away from her kids, but she can find some resemblance of a family here.

When the new resident stepped through the threshold and was given a welcome basket and flowers, she started crying. It was a beautiful moment to witness9.27 Blessing. Later she told me that she was overwhelmed by the kindness of the staff and the other residents.

This month has been an emotional one for me as well. I’ve been settling into my new position, spending 8 hours of my day with these women. I’ve only caught glimpses of their stories, but some days I leave work still trying to digest the day. Heartbreaking also is getting calls from women trying to enter our program, especially the calls where the women on the other line sound defeated, and having to put them on waiting lists because we don’t have the capacity to help everyone.

But I have a welcoming home to retreat to. I can enjoy my roommate’s company and visit with my VISTA community. I’m even meeting some of my neighbors. I can’t imagine going through life without support networks such as these. These people are what make my new tiny apartment in NOLA feel like home.

It’s that kind of support that may even lead to celebrations, like being 90 days clean and 90 days in the program. Many of the women are hitting their 90 in 90 milestones and I think that is something to be proud of.

                So, congrats to the women of Eden House! Here’s to another 90 days at home!

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Flowers, cake, and card for a resident 90/90 celebration!

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This entry was posted on October 2, 2015 by in VISTA Field Reports.

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