MEET LOTUS HOUSE
Our Miami mama, Nany, decided to work with Lotus House: a shelter and safe haven providing women & children in the Miami area with resources, counseling, and a guiding light. As a former volunteer, it holds a special place in Nany’s heart, and she loves the work that they do.
We chatted with Lotus House to learn more about the organization’s mission, some of its major milestones, and its goals for the future.
Our mission is to improve the lives of women, youth and children experiencing homelessness by providing sanctuary, support, education, tools and resources that empower them to improve the quality of their lives on every level and achieve greater self-sufficiency. If their dreams come true, we enrich our community with the fruit of their potential realized. We advocate on behalf of women, youth and children experiencing homelessness to raise awareness of their special needs. We aim to inspire innovative, holistic solutions that truly break the cycle of childhood abuse, domestic violence and homelessness; and advance service-driven research and enlightened public policies for greater understanding, social inclusion and resources. Our vision is that every woman, youth and child experiencing homelessness will have the opportunity to heal, learn and grow, build the foundation for a brighter future, and blossom into who they are truly meant to be.
How do you assist mothers & babies?
It’s a safe and supportive shelter, with trauma-informed and evidence-based therapies helping to mend the broken bonds between mom and child and to help with any behavioral issues. We provide three meals a day, prenatal care and supplies needed during pregnancy and post baby, inclusive of diapers, bottles, clothing, formula, toys, etc. Throughout their stay at Lotus House, there are linkages provided to pre- and post-natal medical care for mom and child via our onsite medical provider (Jessie Trice Community Health Systems), as well as holistic programming such as art activities, yoga, and meditation. There’s education and employment for women and children, onsite daycare provided by United Way of Miami-Dade and housing support for a successful and safe transition out of the shelter system.
Mother’s Day & Baby Shower Events:
We celebrate all women on Mother’s Day by hosting a get together in our pavilion filled with gifts, flowers, music and a special menu donated by community members/businesses. Mothers and non-mothers of Lotus House are invited to this celebration as we recognize all women.
We host a baby shower every quarter for expecting moms, providing them with special gifts for their upcoming babies and celebrating them with music, decor and, as always, a special menu.
Due to the nature of our work, we do not host virtual events for our guests. All necessary precautions are taken at Lotus House daily, from required mask usage, social distancing, increased disinfecting protocols, temperature checks, UV sanitizing lights in our air system and more.
Achievements & Research:
To learn more, read this, which describes the documented needs and trauma histories of sheltered children from birth to age 3 at Lotus House, and the efficacy of two evidence-based parenting programs - Parent Child Interaction Therapy and Child Parent Psychotherapy - as interventions that reduce trauma symptoms.
As we enter the fourth year of our service driven research project, Lotus House is working closely with its collaborating partners to evaluate the results of its research into the needs of children ages 6-18 and effective therapies, specifically Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. We hope to provide a broad overview of the needs of sheltered children of all ages, the connections we discovered to maternal trauma, and trauma-informed effective service models.
There are so many amazing stories to share! We encourage you to watch the videos on our website that do an incredible job of painting a picture of Lotus House and the women and children we so lovingly shelter. In this video, at the 12:41 mark, you will hear a story regarding the second baby who was born at Lotus House – which is just a glimpse into the impact on the children we serve.
What are your goals for the year ahead?
Now more than ever, raising critical dollars needed to continue providing lifesaving shelter and services is a top priority. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every aspect of our operations and programming and demand for a safe & supportive shelter has drastically increased. As we see the financial impacts of the pandemic on our community, every dollar raised is critical and quite truly life changing.
What else would you like to share?
More than shelter, we provide them with services that will help them heal, grow and thrive. No child should be living on the streets of our community and with our children-first principle, we are working hard to ensure that every child has a safe, supportive environment so that they can break the cycles of poverty and abuse.
P.S. - Did You Know?
- $25 provides 10 nutritious meals for a woman sheltered at Lotus House.
- $100 provides a bassinet to cradle one of their littlest infants.
- $500 helps cover the cost of school uniforms, shoes, transportation assistance, books, school supplies and related costs for a young woman striving to complete her educational or vocational goals while at Lotus House.
$2,500 helps fund job readiness training programs, including costs for books, computers, supplies, vocational training, licenses and certifications, and a full-time employment coach to provide individual assistance to women on the work path.
- 350,000+ meals served annually.
- 500+ women and children sheltered nightly (about half are children).
- 225+ newborns (so far) born while at Lotus House.
- 100,000+ diapers provided to Lotus House babies.
- 82% successful exit from the shelter system.
Catch up with all the mamas we've met along the way!
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