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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Homeless Shelters, Human Services

Mission: The Sundari Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit, non-denominational public charity, dedicated to the education, advancement and social inclusion of poor, disadvantanged and homeless women and children.  The first initiative of the Foundation was the establishment of the Lotus House Women’s Shelter in the heart of Overtown, Miami, an area suffering from profound poverty and urban blight in one of the poorest large cities in the United States.  Lotus House is a unique women's resource center and residential facility serving women who are homeless or at risk of being homeless, whether due to domestic violence, untreated medical or mental illness, disability, loss of employment, or other economic reasons. For many women, it is the shelter of last resort, as time spent in temporary shelters does not afford them an opportunity to address untreated medical and mental health issues, obtain employment, and save the funds needed to secure affordable housing.  This is not a typical short term shelter, but a place where the minds, bodies and spirits of women most in need are nurtured and supported to empower them to improve the quality of their lives on every level, achieve greater self sufficiency, and transition to permanent homes off the streets.

Geographic areas served: Miami Dade County, Florida

Programs: Operation of residential facility and resource center, known as lotus house women's shelter, providing free shelter, holistic support services and access to wide range of community resources for homeless women and children, including: food, clothing, counseling, job readiness training and educational workshops, access to medical and mental health treatment, pre-natal care, birthing and parenting classes, infant supplies, and a host of enrichment of activities. Facility serves approximately 350+ homeless women and children each year. After its initial formation, the foundation concentrated its efforts on providing relief to homeless, poor, distressed and disadvantaged women and children. It established lotus house as a prototype women's resource center and transitional housing facility, providing basic human services and resources to homeless, poor, distressed and disadvantaged women in miami-dade county. It elected not to further pursue assistance to the school project of the theodore gibson foundation, which was in the planning stages.

through its wholly owned subsidiary lotus house thrift, llc, the foundation has established a work program and community outreach thrift shop benefiting lotus house women's shelter, providing job training, clothing and furnishings for homeless, poor, distressed and disadvantaged women in furtherance of the foundation's charitable and educational purposes.

through its wholly owned subsidiary lotus wellness center, llc, the foundation established a free, volunteer, health and wellness clinic in furtherance of the foundation's charitable and educational purposes.

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a volunteer at Lotus House has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. We have fun lessons, while learning a language that it is key for their prospective job career. Women and kids are the integration center of any family. At the shelter, you can feel they are a large, whole, and powerful family, where every one has their own responsabilites and support each other. The staff and President, are always available at the shelter, ready to serve and help at any moment, facing the challanges with such a positive attitude, always with a BIG SMILE!! They are an example for all of us, I am so privilaged to be able to participate and be of service in whatever way I can! In todays society, I just wish children and teenagers new more about this project...

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first learned about the Lotus House in 2007. I volunteered there for part of a semester for a project in my Women & Leadership course. From my first visit to the property, I was moved. The environment and atmosphere was a calming one, especially in a neighborhood like Overtown. After my semester project, I knew that I wasn't finished with the Lotus House. My heart knew that this organization was a jewel of an organization, and I couldn't wait to get involved again. With the love and help of the Women's Studies student organizations at Florida International University, we coordinated several clothing drives and volunteered at some of their fabulous events to support the Lotus House. I think that it is important that the women that have the opportunity to partake in what the Lotus House has to offer--whether resident, staff, or volunteer--has the opportunity to experience a positive transformation for the body, mind, and soul.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Making art as an adult requires a certain amount of bravery and a willingness to take risks. The rewards are complex and spiritual but the challenges sometimes seem daunting and the justifications for so much time and energy often frivolous. Not so at the Lotus House. As we hang out with the ladies and draw or paint or tie-dye or just gossip while struggling with beading or duct tape or whatever materials we are transforming, some kind of wonderful open aura of ideas and "making" floats around the space. We are all bliss-ed out together by reinventing something. Everyone there is full of talent of one sort or another and many unexpected ideas flow out while we get our hands dirty. Maybe it's the fact that women sitting together start to bond with little coaxing. How can you ignore such a wonderful refuge and resource? Women who leave the Lotus House after their healing experience become productive compassionate much evolved members of society. Bravo.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Lotus House shelter is a warm and caring space where women in need can find the resources they need to help them get back on their feet. They provide a broad variety of services for the clients in all areas, mind, body & spirit. I am impressed with the whole approach and commitment of the staff. It is a wonderful place filled with hope.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization works. Philosophically sound, the Lotus House theory put into practice has enabled many women to find their center and come to a place where they can support themselves and often, their babies. Everyone participates from residents to volunteers to staff in sensible, practical harmony that produces concrete results; empowering individuals & enabling them to not only survive, but in many cases thrive, in the general community after they move on from the shelter.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have never seen women undergo such positive transformations by being part of an organization as I have seen at Lotus House.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My connection has evolved so that now I am an enthusiastic supporter and fund/friend raiser for Lotus House, the shelter run by the Sundari Foundation. This miracle of of private philanthropy, helps to rehabilitate women and returns them to fruitful lives. It is at the epicenter of what private philanthropy can accomplish.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Lotus House Shelter is magical place where women get real chances in a kind of environment so very unique yet necessary. Every single women there is treated with kindness and respect. It´s a lovely family continuously moving forward. Everyone gets equal chances, resources, meals, clothing, a bed and support and understanding, among all other aspects of the fantastic program the shelter offers. I am forever grateful to be a part of such a wonderful organization.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An oasis of peace and healing energy that truly enables its clients to regroup, reevaluate and learn the skills they need to lead full, fulfilling lives, with measurable, concrete results.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with the Lotus House on several locations through the Junior League of Miami and each time I walk away with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the Sundari Foundation. The memory that sticks out in my mind daily was when we were moving a woman into an apartment with her two young children right before Christmas. After we were done moving the beds, building the dresses and hanging the drapes the woman's young son - about 3 years old ran into the apartment and said, "This is my house? Is Santa going to come to my house?" My heart sank. We see the faces of the homeless everyday as we drive through downtown however when you roll up your sleeves and see all the amazing things that the Lotus House does - like allowing a little boy to have Santa come to his house... You understand the impact of this amazing organization.