Safe and Secure at The Shepherd’s House
Here we are in the final days of summer which also signals the end of our summer fundraising campaign, Safe and Secure, which benefits the Women and Children’s Center (WCC). Safe and Secure speaks to the heart of what the WCC is all about, creating a place that is safe to allow women and children to heal from the violence, trauma, addiction, and homelessness in their lives. This campaign provides necessary improvements to the center including new security cameras, resources for addiction recovery, trauma counseling, beautification improvements, and much more. Every gift helps us make an impact and assist these wonderful women on their healing journey.
We have extended our campaign until the end of September, so with a few weeks left to go in the campaign, we sat down with Jillian, Director of Shepherd’s House Women and Children’s Center to get a better understanding of why this campaign is vital to continuing the work.
Let’s start with a bit about your background and how you got involved with Shepherd’s House and the WCC?
I have a background in mental health and chemical dependency counseling. While I was in graduate school, a professor I knew connected me with a ministry similar to Shepherd’s House in Spokane, Washington. Ever since, for the past nineteen years, I have been doing this work. I met the founders of Shepherd’s House, Curt Floski and Cash Lowe, back in 2004 while they were teaching our mission how to implement a new type of programming. The programming they taught changed my life (I’m not exaggerating). We kept in touch over the years and in 2014 started talking about a women and children’s center in Bend. As soon as the opportunity presented itself, my husband, my pup, and I moved down to Bend to join the incredible work at Shepherd’s House. Since then we have had two amazing boys, Elliot age 3, and Atticus age 10 months who come over often to spend time with the women and kiddos.
What is the best the part about working at the WCC?
The best part, the things that keep me going, are the women themselves. These women choose to give up so much and come with us on an adventure of a lifetime. But what they gain far outweighs the sacrifice. They choose to trust God, our staff, the volunteers, and one another in areas where trust has been deeply broken. They shed a lot of tears, happy and sad. I love watching them learn how to do life differently. I love to dance, laugh, and celebrate with them. I love to see them do things they have never before done.
Why is the Safe & Secure campaign so vital to the future of the WCC?
The Safe & Secure campaign tells the story of what truly allows change to happen in the lives of our women and children. We believe that all people have the ability to change as long as they are safe, feel secure, and know that they are loved unconditionally. The campaign is putting financial resources into all of the areas that bring safety. We are hoping to increase our services in care and also security.
What do you think people in Central Oregon don't know about the WCC that they should?
We impact so many more than the nine women and their children that we serve! Most of the women have families, children, and grandchild that are counseled, loved on, and even given provisions through our ministry. Our hearts are to provide lasting transformation for the many generations to come.
How has working at the WCC changed you?
The women, the staff and the volunteers have changed my life through their vulnerability and courage. I just recently learned that the meaning of encouragement is “to give courage to someone”. Anytime someone shares their story it touches a piece of my story. I am forever grateful for this beautiful community.
How can people get involved with the WCC?
Please check us out at SHMinistries.org. We have many volunteer opportunities, and our wonderful Volunteers Coordinator, Ryan Olufson, is here to help with any questions you might have. If you are not in a place to share time, please share our story with others in our community to help educate them about the important goals we have to help women and children. And, your financial contribution will make a tangible impact in helping us make our Women and Children’s Center truly Safe and Secure.