My Nonprofit Reviews

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beezmom

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2 reviews

Review for Living Room Center Inc, Santa Rosa, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I adore this place. It is a warm, loving cozy place for homeless women and children to gather during the day - to receive mail, to use the computer and the phone, to receive basics such as toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shampoo, feminine products and diapers, among other basic necessities.A warm healthy home-cooked breakfast and lunch is provided daily, as well as facilities such as coffee maker, microwave, and toaster for women to prepare their own small meals. Best of all, their is a warm separate room and playground for mothers and their young children (often just babies) The playground is fenced in, green, and filled with fruit trees and grass, a sand box, a slide, a jungle gym and a swing sets. The atmosphere is peaceful and soothing to the mothers, which allows them to be peaceful and soothing for their children. It is a haven in the midst of chaos in the lives of homeless women and their children.It is also a place where community and mutual support is encouraged.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

witnessing the love and support clients receive from staff such as Daphne and Celeste - and the love and support they receive from one another.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Interacting with the clients. Their courage and kindness in the middle of extreme adversity is humbling beyond words.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

The staff I have interacted with - Celeste who is the Client Services Coordinator and Daphne who is the pathways case manager - are astounding. They are highly knowledgeable skilled and respectful to their clients. The volunteers are deeply committed.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand on the good it is already doing for the most vulnerable members of our population. Rather than a brief daily respite from the trauma of homelessness, it could become a holistic healing shelter- not just a respite but an answer and end to the trauma

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

Role:  Volunteer & I provide desk and food services to the clients.
 

Review for Womens Recovery Services A Unique Place, Santa Rosa, CA, USA

Rating: 1 stars  

Sadly, this treatment facility uses shame, humiliation, and confrontation against highly vulnerable women just beginning to detox from drugs and alcohol. Most of the clients are poor, and come from extremely abusive backgrounds. The Clinical director is contemptuous of the clients, and discourages empathy and friendship among the women - the two qualities that could transform their lives. Staff are well-meaning but grossly under-trained. Their is virtually no awareness of trauma-informed principles,and many of the clients are re-traumatized by the policies and practices of WRS. The best thing I can say about WRS is that it is less punitive than prison. But the clients - and their children - deserve and need the compassion and healing that could help them on the road to healing.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Fire the clinical director and do a clinic wide training on trauma-informed practices.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Provide a desperately needed place for recovering mothers and their children to stay together. Well-trained staff, healthy meals, parenting educators, mother's support groups. and a trauma-informed healing environment.

Ways to make it better...

Outdated abusive and confrontational tactics had been replaced with respectful, trauma-informed practices.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Ignorance about the connection between developmental trauma and substance abuse, and the importance of treating all human beings - especially women struggling to overcome substance abuse, life-long poverty, and severe trauma, with respect.

One thing I'd also say is that...

What is so tragic about WRS is that it is one of the few rehabs where mothers can room their small children - but the conditions of their stay are so stressful and abusive that their parenting is undermined, and the children experience institutional abuse

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007

Role:  Professional with expertise in this field & case manager.