A Year With Lydia’s House

  by Bethany Kurtz The last weeks of November had us all stuck in a Covid quarantine. The days seemed to last for years and the nights even longer. But as I spent that time by myself I was able to reflect on the year at Lydia’s House, just as my time was coming to an end. Coming to Ohio was a huge decision for me. I spent most of life in NY and when I landed in West Norwood, it  was  a leap  of  faith. It’s been one incredible year working here at Lydia’s House. When I began working

LOVE EMBODIED

Honna Brown, volunteer coordinator, reflects on 2 years at Lydia’s House as she prepares to leave the role. “Wait, don’t leave- please don’t leave!” This might be one of the most squealed phrases from the mouths of the children of Lydia’s House. However, this young friend of mine was more persistent than many others. He draped his small body over the railing, continuing to holler, “Please!” I looked back, smiled, waved and told him I would be back soon. His mother poked her head out the door and told him to come back inside with everyone else. No sooner than

(Kind of) Accompanying a birth in a pandemic

By Bethany Kurtz, Lydia’s House live in volunteer Before the pandemic started I was honored to take a doula class. Little did I know what form that would take in a contagious outbreak.  In the weeks prior to the birth, before we were too concerned about COVID, Tiana and I spent hours sitting with each other discussing the birth. We talked about how we could make the birth of her baby girl go as smoothly as possible. Of course, implicit in these plans is that her mom would be there as her partner, and I would be there as her

Pentecost and Community

After months of quarantine restrictions, we were finally able to attend our first “communal” gathering. We had planned a Pentecost service for the date of the liturgical celebration – but there were more pressing things that needed to be done! The protests downtown were in full swing and we all felt it necessary that we let our voices be heard. BlackLivesMatter! Our first celebration of Pentecost 2020 was a call to be heard and understood, to join brothers and sisters across boundaries to communicate one message: Black lives should be cherished and honored, Black children protected, Black families celebrated. We

RULES AND REGULATIONS

On March 22, 2020, Ohio declared “shelter in place” because of COVID-19. All non-essential organizations and businesses closed. As a family shelter we are considered to be essential, but our way of being together demanded reflection and change as a result of the mandate for social distancing. On the day of the governor’s order we had all four rooms filled with 4 adult guests, 4 children and 2 live in volunteers, all sharing meals and bathrooms and common space. We put all of our practices and norms under scrutiny. After many sleepless nights and a lot of behind the scenes