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.”