March is Women’s History Month, and the National Women’s History Project made “Writing Women Back into History” their theme this year. Their website says, “It often seems that the history of women is written in invisible ink.” It’s not that the stories aren’t there, they just go unnoted.
The same is often true for women at Calvary – and for all people who are homeless. Many of the women at Calvary are lifelong survivors of violence. Unemployment, mental illnesses, addictions, chronic health problems and other challenges lead to homelessness – and also create a sense that the women have no control over or voice in what happens next.
Much of Calvary’s work involves empowering women to use their own stories and voices as they work to overcome these challenges. We ask, “Where have you been? What are your goals and dreams?” Women respond with as many answers as there are women.
Ruby responded with this poem:
I am a strong black woman
A mother, a grandmother and an ex-wife
I am loving, caring, understanding and kind hearted
I love to help anyone
I pray that I will remain strong and be the black woman that God wants me to be
Calvary’s programs are built on the belief that each woman has incredible strength and many gifts she can use to overcome whatever challenges she faces. Listening to her story and encouraging her to find her voice are first steps to accessing that strength and overcoming homelessness.
Women at Calvary are writing themselves back into their own stories.
You can see more of the poetry and artwork women have created on Calvary’s website.
And you can check out the National Women’s History Project here.