I have seen how well the resident's do after living at the two homes run by the Sundari Foundation. They receive job training, counseling, parenting skills and many other things.
The Lotus House Women's Shelter is a unique, immensely supportive community environment for homeless women in Miami-Dade County. It provides not only a place to stay and food to eat, but also one-on-one daily wrap around services with each guest in order to help these women gain steady income and become self-sufficient with stable housing and resources. I have personaly seen women who were left with nothing as the result of domestic violence, illness or poverty go through Lotus House's program to obtain housing and dependable income. Lotus House is helping women daily change their lives and get back on their feet. It is a wonderful organization.
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...
My wife and I heard abut Lotus House from someone we know that is familiar with the type of program Lotus House uses to assist women in need. It caught our attention and we visited the House and talked to its leader and got to meet some of the employees and volunteers. Lotus House approach to serve is unique in the sense that helps women with different needs to spend time in the House for a period long enough that lets redirect their lives. It is not a short term shelter to assist in short term basic needs. The women are supported in dealing with their particular need, trained to move forward in terms of employment, they get the message that they are important and that the House is not a quick fix. When you visit the House you feel a sense of peace and love, you see that the people there both the women guests, volunteers and staff really have a common purpose. It is refreshing to see that places like this exist in the middle of the very confused world we live in today. Vivian/Ralph Morera
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.
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.
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.
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.
I have never seen women undergo such positive transformations by being part of an organization as I have seen at Lotus House.
The experience I have had with the women and volunteers at the Lotus House have always been so positive. The shelter helps so many women and babies and I am happy to donat all that I can to help them. The volunteers are very helpful and appreciative.
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.
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. ItÂ´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.
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.
What a great way to give back to this community that needs it so desperately. The Sundari foundation not only gives a chance for hope, tools for future growth but also empower the women to go out and care about their communities suchas the Wynwood street clean initiative. We are proud to help this organization.
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.
Constance Collins could have continued her career as a successful developer. Instead, she used her professional expertise, talents, and resources to create and run Lotus House, a shelter for homeless women and infants in Overtown, a low income section of Miami. In the midst of abandoned buildings and lots, Constance has created an oasis for women in distress. I had the privilege of volunteering at Lotus House last year and am in awe of the concept and program Constance has created. For many of these women, this is the first time in their lives they are treated as sacred human beings. The approach is a holistic one - to heal the whole person. From clean, safe housing, to healthy meals, counseling, career development, yoga, creative writing and more, Lotus House provides a safe place for women to heal and develop their potential. This year our synagogue created a community garden to grow fresh organic vegetables for Lotus House. It is a joy and privilege to be associated with such a caring and sacred enterprise. Rabbi Jody Cohen
I have visited Lotus House on several occasions and have found the work that is done there to be remarkable. The pleasant surroundings, the obvious excellence of the many services provided and the very enthusiastic and optimistic atmosphere are cannot be commended enough. I visited Lotus House when I delivered donations of clothing on several occasions and then again with a small group from my synagogue to deliver the gift bags which were made as a project by the women of Temple Emanu-el on Miami Beach. The staff and the residents were so willing to share information with us about the program here and the variety of food, health, educational programs as well as the comfortable living conditions. We were all so moved and impressed by the quality of this program and hope to repeat the project next year.
* Lotus House is a sanctuary for distress women. * Lotus House has been an asset to me throughout my writing process. *Lotus House has given me leverage to fulfill my Divine Mission - write and find myself. * The Founder/President of the Lotus House - Ms Constance Collins has proven to be very understanding. * Ms Constance is also very open for dialoguing with residents. * Lotus House has equipped hundreds of women to find job and housing. * The Staff of the Lotus House is very adaptable to the residents.
Each day, i am blessed to share the amazing grace of the divine spirits of so many women and children who call Lotus House their home, until they have their own. Lotus House provides sanctuary, support, tools and resources for women and children who are homeless and in need of a safe space to transform their lives, to become who they were truly meant to be. With a holistic environment designed to heal, nurture, and support each woman in accomplishing her goals, Lotus House offers love and encouragement, compassion and understanding, and the support, tools, resources and time to truly heal, grow and transform their lives. Virtually every woman who enters our door has suffered traumas of body, mind and spirit. She is afforded an opportunity to heal, learn and improve the quality of her life on every level. She is empowered by access to medical and mental health treatment, pre-natal care and parenting classes, individual therapy and group counseling, intensive recovery support, job readiness training, day care and transportation assistance, health and wellness education, financial literacy and computer classes, social services support and housing assistance,to afford her an opportunity to discover who she is when she is not in crisis and build a safe, secure and better way of life for herself and her children. The enrichment activities at Lotus House, like art, yoga, aerobics, creative writing, book club, dance, body talk, music concerts, walking club, field trips and more, offer alternative pathways to healing and build long lasting shared community at Lotus House, both for those who live with us and the many volunteers who make these offerings possible. Lotus House offers a sacred space for each woman and child in need to blossom into who they are truly meant to be. In the end, what makes Lotus House special are the women and children whose paths cross our threshold and enrich the lives of all they touch with love, compassion, greater understanding,and enlightened consciousness. May it always rest on the firm ground of emptiness!
The Lotus House Shelter operated by the Sundari Foundation is truly cutting edge technique to address the universal reality of homelessness. Five years ago I was at a time in my life when it felt like every adversity available to mankind swept over me and in this plaguelike state I became overwhelmed and literally "found" myself homeless. From my initial experience with the staff at the Lotus House it felt as though an enormous burden had been lifted and that I was surrounded by individuals who cared about what happened to me. This experience will remain with me for at that time I found myself alone without my family and after my psyche was healed, the Lotus House replaced that loss. As I continue to heal I use my story as an incentive to others who feel hopeless and helpless and to take this message to other women to provide a ray of hope.