From Where I Sit...
Since our world began changing last February/March, my sense of time has gone awry. I have recurring OMG moments realizing what month it is, how much time has passed, what we have accomplished, and how much more still needs to be done.
Twenty-two women have come to Crossroads during this time. Two stayed less than ten days. Ten have completed the program and have moved on to family or friends. Three women are continuing in the Residential Program as they await the opening of the Transitional Housing Program in Pomona. Meanwhile they help provide stability for the newer residents.
With the help of a consultant, the Crossroads Board of Directors has also been making significant changes. Redefining ourselves and our priorities has helped us focus and make tangible, significant goals for this year. Sustainability has always been a priority. However, like so many other nonprofits, COVID has changed our perspective and caused us to look and think differently. The challenge is how to make virtual events exciting, realistic, inviting.
Foremost in my mind is our Walking Home Virtual 5K scheduled for March. As we were brainstorming … throwing ideas and questions back and forth … one idea led to another … and my easy-peasy attitude of walking 5K became a challenge for me to walk from CIW (the closest CA women’s prison) to the Harvard House …15.3 miles or 24.6K … on the first day of the walk in March. I started my “training” today and I write this column after my first 2.5 miles for today.
I think of the many women who have shared with me their hopes and dreams over the past 32 years. Some conversations were during my early visits to the prisons, many others with women who called Crossroads “home.” Most recently, I think of the women who have completed their program, expressing their appreciation for what they have learned … their new perspective … the realization that they can create a new life for themselves.
I can walk 15.3 miles for them – and for every other woman who dreams of “walking home.”
Next Steps | Crossroads, Inc. Expands to Include Transitional Housing in Pomona
Crossroads recently purchased property in Pomona to begin a formal Transitional Housing Program. Located on San Francisco Avenue, the craftsman house and duplex will accommodate eight women transitioning from Crossroads or another residential program.
Transitional Housing accommodates the formerly incarcerated woman who is working by providing an additional six-months room and board at no cost. She is then able to continue saving 75% of her earnings. Participation in three (3) face-to-face sessions is also a requirement. Crossroads will be able to offer two of these sessions.
Program Director, Jackie White and the women have been busy cleaning and setting up the house. The property is large enough to allow volunteers to help while practicing social distancing and mask wearing. Several donors have already provided furniture and kitchenware. A wish list at Amazon, Target or Walmart is available for things we still need. Eventually, Crossroads will celebrate this next step with an Open House when it is safe to gather.
A very special thank you to Carlos and Pat Samuelson & Associates with Realty One for their guidance and expertise with this purchase.
A link to our Virtual Housewarming can be found here.
Happy Holidays to you all. The Board and I send our sincere best wishes for peace and joy as we move into the new year. This fall has been momentous for us. We held a retreat in September in conjunction with Create Possibilities and all of us have rededicated our time, talents, and treasure to the remarkable women of Crossroads. Our strategic goals for the next three years include ensuring sustainable revenue stategies are in place, developing strong leadership, solidifing organization and mission awareness, and providing a high quality continuum of care.
Several fundraisers are in the works including our End-of-the-Year Giving Campaign and our Virtual Race this winter; check out our website for more information. A third Crossroads home has been purchased, on San Francisco Street in Pomona, and a second transitional program is being developed. Our Lady of the Assumption Parish and Claremont United Church of Christ are holding Alternative Christmases that include gifts for the San Francisco house. Despite all the challenges of the pandemic, we are thriving. Holiday cheer to you and your families.
Stay safe, dear friends, Dinny Rasmussen, Board Chair
Board of Directors Spotlight: David Likens
Behavioral health executive and attorney David Likens has served the Crossroads community with distinction for many years. His recent return to the Board of Directors has resulted in the invaluable addition of new enthusiasm, perspective, and experience.
David is an adaptive, goal-focused professional with an impressive record for transforming struggling healthcare programs and projects into sustainable and efficient operations. In his career he has been a partner in Jeong & Likens, a clinical director and consultant for Paragon Recovery, and chief executive officer of several recovery programs, including Ranch at Dove Tree
of Lubbock Texas and Ascension Treatments Centers of Fallbrook, California.
During his previous tenure on the Crossroads Board, David proposed the idea for the Annual Welcome Home Breakfast and he has filled a key sponsorship role for this successful event ever since. He is currently Chair of the Governance Committee. Under his guidance, officer duties and selection procedures, along with member recruitment and ongoing board development are being clarified and formalized.
David’s deep and broad experience in behavioral health, particularly in the areas of substance abuse recovery, means that he is a person of compassion and insight. His work as an attorney, professor, CEO, and organizational consultant, means that he is also a person of energy and foresight. And David is a lapidarist! The Crossroads Board is delighted to have David working with this organization once again.
Local Artist & Crossroads Sponsor
Mosaicist and landscape architect, Alba Cisneros, has created ceramic tiles and ornaments for Crossroads that will be sold at the next Village Venture or local art fair (COVID-19 has impacted recent public events – we will notify you when we can make Alba’s work available.) Alba’s generous donation of her time and art is a tangible reflection of her respect for the work of Crossroads and enthusiastic support of the women it serves.
Alba is a native of Claremont. From Sycamore Elementary, Pitzer College, and Cal Poly Pomona, through Denis O’Conner Mosaics to “Land Designs”, she has honed her artistic skills and developed her generous spirit. Her public mosaics are on display throughout the local area, including at Cal Poly, Western University, Mt. San Antonio College, Pitzer Ranch, Bonita Village, Holt Family Apartments, and Mosaic Garden Apartments. She serves on the board of directors for the Scripps Fine Arts Foundation and the Claremont Museum of Art. Currently, Alba lives and works in Pomona.
If you would like further information about Alba Cisneros’ art you may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you would like to donate your art or artistic abilities to support the women of Crossroads, contact us at 909-626-7847 or email email@example.com.