Lydia’s House of Cincinnati, Ohio is currently looking for a maternal care advocate to live in our main property and support homeless mothers as they prepare for childbirth, labor, and new motherhood. Ideally the maternal advocate would serve as a friend and companion as women learn to care for babies and young children, understand female and child health needs, parenting on a budget, and developing coping skills. The maternal advocate will offer physical and emotional support and guidance for mothers as they work toward stability and grow in wholeness. The term of service is a minimum of one year (with possible extension) and applications are being accepted on a rolling basis.
We are a community of strong women committed to living lives of Christian service alongside those experiencing homelessness. Daily we set the table with cloth napkins and engraved napkin rings for those in our community, always ready to add a place at the table for a former guest family who stops by. We enjoy being with current and former guests, playing with their children in the backyard and in the living room after dinner concludes. We are present for guests during significant events, offering a pastoral presence during childbirth, emergency room visits, and after a bad day of work. We prioritize celebrating the accomplishments and lives of those within our community, especially with ringing bells in someone’s honor and (delicious and beautiful!) decorated cakes. We look forward to orienting times of prayer with one another, trusting God (and a lot of hard work) to make changes in the lives of the families we serve.
Qualifications: Advocates will be challenged with a job that includes direct service, program planning, administration and political activism. Advocates should be strong communicators, self-directed, and have previous experience working with individuals or families in crisis. Experience as a live-in staff person with program planning responsibilities is also very helpful. Advocates will be expected to do 20 hours weekly of on-sight duty at the main shelter property, which will include guest accompaniment, meal preparation, house management, transportation, and childcare. Occasional overnights or childbirth accompaniment is required as needed. Advocates will also be able to choose additional responsibilities including communications, special programs, gardening, and teaching. We are seeking women who desire to embrace life in a Christian community and commit to regular prayer and service. Some experience with the Catholic Worker model or intentional community is also helpful.
Compensation: Each worker receives a monthly stipend, all food, housing, and transportation and a generous self-care allowance including counseling and retreats. All Lydia’s House community members also have access to classes at nearby Xavier University and Maternal advocates are provided with childbirth education and a DONA doula certification. Volunteers should be passionate about living alongside the poor and living simply. For more information and the application send a letter of inquiry and resume by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reflections From Former Live-In Advocates:
“Lydia’s House was an incubator of knowledge and wisdom in my life…. I loved learning people’s stories with depth and complexity and seeing the progress as they worked on things and grew. I watched their growth and also noticed growth within myself as I was able to take time to work on myself.” – Stephanie
“Lydia’s House has become a family to me over the past year. A place where women support women to be our authentic selves, to heal, to set and achieve goals, and to be a part of something bigger than ourselves – a real community…. Life here is chaotic, full and beautiful.” – Elisa
“I came to Lydia’s House after working at an emergency overnight shelter for a year. At the shelter, I sat behind a physical and metaphorical desk and created many barriers between myself and the people I ‘served.’ At Lydia’s House, I learned the incredible, soul-healing value of breaking down that wall. I learned how a community serves itself and each member of it’s extended family, creating something holy and radical, rather than a business transaction. Weeding and scrubbing side-by-side reoriented my former ideas of status, slowly chipping away at my false internalized notions of what makes a person valuable (spoiler alert: we all are). The time I spent investing in home and love as a live-in homeless advocate continues to guide my actions, reminds me why I continue to build relationships with those I once would have built a wall around, and why I fight for justice so that we have a society that doesn’t build walls at all.” – Rachel
Applications are currently being accepted for a summer 2019 start.
For more information or to apply by sending your resume, contact Mary Ellen at email@example.com.