Hello from the Women’s Program! My name is Dawn, and I am the Case Manager of the Women’s and Single Mothers with Young Children Programs. I have been with COTS for two years (as of May 1) and continue to grow and learn from our residents each day! Currently, both programs are at 100% occupancy (which can make for some busy days!). Our women’s building has been at capacity with a waiting list since the end of April. The Single Mothers with Young Children Program has been at full occupancy since June of 2013, with a waiting list ever since.
As we are gearing up for the summer, we are looking at bringing in some additional living skills that the ladies are interested in. So far, they have expressed interest in having some of the following classes at our women’s campus: exercise, scrapbooking, healthy eating, Big Book study and creative writing. I will start looking for volunteers that are interested in running some of these types of classes for the women. Furthermore, we are going to be starting a walking club! Everyone is welcome to join! We will plan on walking for about 30-45 minutes a few days each week. This will get us outside engaging with other residents, and also offers the added health benefit!
The biggest news to share is our upcoming Empowerment Retreat that will be held Saturdays, July 19th and 26th, from 9-12:30 p.m. We are bringing four life coaches in that will be creating and facilitating the two day retreat. I think they are more excited than we are right now! All current and Aftercare women will be invited to attend the retreat. Currently, we are working on solidifying a venue and reaching out to the community for some specific items to be donated to enhance the event! Some items that we are looking to have donated include: food (light refreshments), beverages and items for gift bags.
This is the first of this type of event to be held for COTS residents, and we are hopeful that it will be an annual event! The retreat will be so beneficial to our women. Many of the women that reside at COTS have a history of physical/emotional abuse, drug or alcohol dependency, trauma, instability, oppression and low self-esteem. Our wish is that, through the retreat, the women will see their value and self-worth. This will set the stage for a healthy program at COTS and a healthy life after COTS!!
It will certainly be a busy, life-changing summer for many of our residents! We are looking forward to all the positive things that are happening at COTS! Thank you, and have a great summer!