Local Nonprofit Helps Women Overcome Abuse

Image of 'Pauline’s Place' from Advocate Lake Highlands

In the year 1987, Our Friend’s Place opened in Dallas, Texas. They found that many women subjected to abuse and neglect come from families of poverty and homelessness.

Flash forward to the year 2017, and the organization first implemented its homelessness prevention program. According to their website, about forty women are served each year at their transitional living branch. They partner with other organizations to bring housing and equality to young adult women, typically ages eighteen to twenty-four.

The mission statement for Our Friend’s Place is, “Our Friends Place is dedicated to helping young women break generational cycles of abuse, neglect, poverty, and homelessness through empowering self-reliance and independence. Our Friends Place is dedicated to helping young women break generational cycles of abuse, neglect, poverty, and homelessness through empowering self-reliance and independence.” The nonprofit says that their vision is “… a world where all women are change agents for themselves, their families, and their communities.”

One of their programs is called SOAR. It is an acronym for Strengths, Opportunities, Allies, and Resiliency. There are three branches of SOAR: discovery, workshop, and ‘taking flight.’ The SOAR Discovery program is for youth aged twelve through eighteen, and it hosts discussion-focused meetings. Staff discusses things such as talents, skills, and ways they can improve themselves with the members.

In the year 2019 alone, Our Friend’s House served a total of 156 people across six school campuses, along with three partners. Also, in 2019, one-hundred percent of people in the program stayed in school, and one-hundred percent of people increased at least one skill to prevent future homelessness. The SOAR Workshop targets one skill or a small group of related skills. It gives presentations and information on the talent or skills. Some of the skills taught are college retention and poverty and how it relates to past trauma. In 2019, 363 participants were in the SOAR workshops and across a total of five locations. Records show that eighty percent of participants increased their expertise in the topics they studied. Finally, for the SOAR trio is the Taking Flight Program. This program is for a wide range of women aged eighteen to forty-five who have housing but would like advice and tips on being successful in their life and the future. Taking Flight has a total of eight sessions, and in 2019 seventy-three percent of participants finished. Twenty-five women took this course with four groups from Our Friend’s Place.

Another service that Our Friend’s House offers is the Transitional Living Service (TLC). TLC provides housing for women eighteen to twenty-four who aren’t pregnant and don’t have children. There are two TLC buildings, each of which houses three women. Each woman gets a bedroom of her own and has on-site staff that helps with teaching curriculum and personalized case management. In 2019, one-hundred percent of women in the program increased job skills, did not get pregnant, and were employed at least part-time.

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