I am updating a previous review. After nearly 20 years as a volunteer and participant at the Women's Hearth, I have found that I must part ways with Transitions. New staff has brought changes that are not in keeping with the organizations mission & values. I can no longer support an organization that greets me with their back to the door and habitually kicks out mentally ill women it advertises itself to be a resource for. For those who have nowhere else to go to keep out of the sun or the cold it's tolerable, I'm sure. But things have changed and not in a good way. I leave so distressed every time I go. I loved visiting with the women and it I miss them tremendously, but I must keep my visits far and few between in order to maintain my own sanity. The staff just has no interest in the clients at all anymore.
I have been involved with the Women's Drop in Center, now the Women's Hearth 15+ years in a variety of capacities including, client, volunteer and fundraiser. When I first arrived, the place had a warmth & glow about it, noticeable the moment I walked in. Staff, volunteers & clients alike, demonstrated a warm, caring & accepting attitude toward one another. Everyone had a sense of hope no matter how old the chair they were sitting or difficulty in their circumstances. As the building & the organization (Transitions) have grown this sense of caring & closeness is less apparent. The Hearth still provides many of the same groups and services such as showers and a hygiene closet, but the coffee is not always on, snacks are rarely provided and it's a big deal to ask staff to start another pot. I still volunteer and attend some groups but I don't feel the warmth as I used to. 10 years ago, I would have given this organization a 5 star rating & really hope I will be able to do that again some day.
I visited the Women's Hearth and saw how well it was used and respected by those that used it. It gave the womeon a place to make contact using the phone and computer. It provides a safe haven and fellowship.
I walked into the Hearth thinking that I would pass my wisdom on to the women who used the facility. I had just graduated from Gonzaga and was eager to share my knowledge of the world with these low-income, often mentally ill women who were facing many obstacles during this period of their life. I never imagined that it was I who would be taught. I found women who smiled in the face of extreme hardship, women who sang despite the stares of onlookers and women who spoke out against the wrongs of this world regardless of the reactions of others. I witnessed heartbreaking stories and tears of sorrow but through such adversity I also saw great strength and kindness and the kind of hope that speaks to the incredible spirit of humanity and the resilience of the human soul. The Hearth offers many things to the women who walk through its doors. There are art classes, food and hygiene items, processing groups and hot meals. If you look closer, however, listen a little harder and observe a little longer, you will also find women who have learned to deal with some of Life's most difficult adversity. They don’t always do it with finesse and they often do not have a lot of tact, but they are surviving. Through these women, are many lessons to be learned!
This is a wonderful program serving a need for members of our community that fall could easily fall below the radar if Transitions wasn't here. The Board, Staff, volunteers I have met are exceptional. Big hearts, warm smiles and a true passion for helping those women in need.
From 2001 to 2003, I volunteered weekly or bi-weekly at the Women's Hearth (then Women's Drop-In Center), providing "floor support," and teaching beginning Spanish classes to the members. Then I moved away from Spokane but kept in touch, and in December 2008 had the opportunity to return and volunteer at the Hearth daily for a month. This program is unique, welcoming, and wonderful enough that it was worth a month away from home and a trip from California to Washington in the winter. The Hearth serves all women, meeting any pressing needs that they have. Some participants only hope for a cup of coffee and a warm room on a winter day. Others come to make the most of creative opportunities offered at the center. Some women attend recovery groups. Still others consider the members of the community at the Hearth their best friends and only family. I have seen many women "come into bloom" at the Hearth. Two stories especially stick with me. A schizophrenic woman found consistency, friendships, and an outlet in creative writing. She attributes her success in living independently to the support received at the Hearth. Another woman sat in a chair facing out the window for weeks, reacting angrily to anyone who tried to engage her. Out of the blue, she realized that she was in a safe place. One day she participated in an art group, trusting the people around her a bit more. The next day she helped in the kitchen and shared some of her hard life story while she worked. She was soon on a waiting list for Section 8 housing, thanks to the help of case managers at the Hearth.
My name is Katherine, I moved to spokane,w3a homless witout a support or a place to belong. Through the women's hearth I found frieneds and wonderful classes such as coffee house and the wrtting class. For five years I learn to grow and be nurtured and to believe in myself. I will always be indebetd to this wonderful place where the teach you to fly. God bless Katherine Hert
I first heard of Transitions during college, both Miryam's House and the Women's Hearth are popular places to pick for a service learning project. Coming into a new setting can be intimidating, especially when there's an established routine. Volunteering for Transitions is not like this, as all the staff and the women they help are very welcoming and understanding of others.
Women's Heath provides a positive environment for women from all walks of life. It's a safe place where the women can just sit and relax, yet it also provides many programs for helping each woman where she is at to move onward and upward. The women who work there are compassionate and knowledgeable.
If it were not for Transitions and Miryam's House our daughter may well have beeen a statistic for homelessness or a name on a tombstone. Several years ago she was going through her own personal hell due to alcoholism, anorexia/bulemia and an incompetent counselor. After being released from a treatment facility she spent quite some time at Miryam's House where she found the unconditional love of strangers and staff to be what she needed to begin her journey to becoming the amazing person she is today. God bless you all!
I have been involved in a variety of roles with the Transitions programs for more than 20 years. They truly help women to wholeness as they overcome the devastating affects of addiction, homelessness, and abuse. They provide atmospheres where hope, a sense of worthiness and self respect can grow. They help women as they reach for their highest potential.