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Women Building Women: A Partnership with the Junior League of Baltimore

Women Building Women: A Partnership with the Junior League of Baltimore

At the Women’s Housing Coalition we are grateful for our relationships with organizations that support women and help us create more stable families. The Junior League of Baltimore (JLB) has worked with us for the last three years collecting donations and hosting events for our residents.

In this Q and A, JLB President, Brina Masi Eades and Laura Hazan from the JLB Partnership & Service Committee share more about the Junior League and why they wanted to partner with the Women’s Housing Coalition.

Tell us more about the mission of The Junior League of Baltimore and why you wanted to partner with the WHC. 

JLB is a leadership development organization. We train women to be civic leaders while actively helping our community. The JLB has been a presence in the Baltimore area since 1912, making this our 107th year of making a positive impact on the Baltimore community! We are actively recruiting our fall membership class right now.

The JLB’s community impact focus is “Women Building Women: helping women and girls unlock their potential through personal and professional development.” The JLB wanted to partner with an organization that would allow us to have a maximum impact on women’s lives in Baltimore. We were drawn to the amazing work the Women’s Housing Coalition has been doing in the Baltimore community by providing safe and affordable housing, as well as support services to housing insecure women and families in Baltimore. We have been honored and excited for the opportunity to join forces with the WHC these past three years.

What activities has your group done with WHC?

Junior League of Baltimore has had a number of different activities with WHC. We had a Mother’s Day brunch in 2018 that was well-received. We’ve had several game nights at Bennett, which are always so much fun. We had a healthy cooking class at Bennett as well. This 19/20 year we are going to have a standing “date” with WHC, on the third Thursday of every month with more game nights, craft nights and other wellness events planned.

Are there any memorable moments from partnering with WHC?

Memorable moments with WHC are in abundance, but one of our favorite moments was during a game night. One resident seemed shy about her ability to play the games, but she took a shine to a particular game called Heads Up. At first, she didn’t want to play, but by the end of the night, she lead the group in several rounds. She really came out of her shell.

Why do you think it’s important to support organizations like WHC?

WHC is an important partner for JLB for several reasons. WHC directly supports our mission of Women Building Women: helping women and girls unlock their potential through personal and professional development. More importantly, WHC gets our members into the community and impacting our neighbors by sharing our skills and knowledge.

For more information about the JLB’s work and ways to get involved, please visit www.jlbalt.org

WHC Staff Learn How to Develop Mental Health Action Plans

WHC Staff Learn How to Develop Mental Health Action Plans

Did you know that 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 5 teens are struggling with mental illness? Mental Health First Aid believes “Anyone, anywhere can be the one to make a difference in the life of someone with a mental health or substance use challenge – if they know what to do and what to say.”

Mental Health First Aid trains coaches, police officers, teachers, faith leaders and other caring individuals to look for the signs of mental illness and how to respond with appropriate intervention strategies.

At Women’s Housing Coalition, we participate in continuing education so that we can fully support all of our residents. It is important for all staff members to be educated and trained on the best way to interact with residents in an effective manner that supports them in their journey to improve their lives. Mental Health First Aid is just one of the training opportunities that our staff has attended along these lines.

Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis. In the Mental Health First Aid course, we learned about the risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.

Our staff members left with a better understanding of mental illness, and how they can help with a Mental Health First Aid action plan for a variety of situations including panic attacks, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and reactions to traumatic events.

At Women’s Housing Coalition, we are thankful for courses like these so we can serve better and continue our mission of supporting families and individuals with permanent and affordable, service-enriched housing. If you would like to know more about Mental Health First Aid and the courses they have available, visit https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/bethedifference/