This is my second year as part of Wilderness Heals, a pledge hike in support of the amazing Elizabeth Stone House. Since I won't do them justice, I'll let ESH speak for itself.
From their website:
The Elizabeth Stone House partners with adult and child survivors of domestic violence and related trauma – mental illness, housing instability and substance misuse – to achieve safety, stability, and overall wellbeing, thereby contributing to the strength, resiliency, and health of the community we serve.
Clients will learn skills, develop confidence and gain access to resources they need to live competently, independently and safely. They will 1) survive the crises that bring them to us, 2) stabilize their personal lives, 3) strengthen their families, 4) take control of their finances, and 5) find permanent housing and keep it.
The Elizabeth Stone House was founded in 1974 as a residential alternative to institutionalization for women with mental illness. We believed there was a better way to aid these women and created a robust center for recovery and safe harbor for them. Our footprint extended to opening a domestic violence shelter—the first in the nation where women were encouraged to bring their children with them—and then, a transitional housing facility in Roxbury. Both are still in operation today.
Wrap-around support services, previously provided only to Elizabeth Stone House residents, were extended to all neighborhood residents in 1995. Two years later, the agency opened a Parent-Child Center to provide even better care for the children of adult clients. Financial literacy classes became a part of the agency’s programming in 1998. Parenting classes were extended to men in 2007. The shelter bucked convention in 2009 by welcoming its first transgender resident, and in 2011, the agency’s residential programming went co-ed as we welcomed the first male resident into the transitional housing program.
This history and concurrent momentum is now catalyzing a capital campaign to finance and construct a new building. We plan to break ground in 2016 and move in a year later. At the campaign’s conclusion, the Elizabeth Stone House will have an integrated supportive housing and community-based service complex that can offer expanded services to more than 2,000 clients and community members each year.