(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

Creating a Culture of Celebration

by Laura Menze, OT Creating a Culture of Celebration When I describe Lydia’s House to someone, it is vital that I mention celebrations. From birthday parties to baby blessings to back to school parties with the bounce house, we love celebrating! In our work and lives discouragements can be numerous, thus it is critical that we take a step back to be with one another, celebrate what is good, and eat desserts! As our work has expanded this past year with the opening of Virginia Coffey Place, we have sought to continue our culture of celebration in new ways and

Life and work in 2019

By Mary Ellen Mitchell, Lydia’s House co-director December 2019 Dear Friends, As I reflect on the last year, first I’m grateful for the opportunity to be in leadership here at Lydia’s House and to have my work and family so integrated in this experiment in shared life and community. Our children are better for it; our days are more meaningful. As such, perhaps the piece of life that stood out most boldly for the Mitchell-Eilerman contingent of this operation was this operation, with Lydia’s House taking a new role in our family as the employer of both me and Ben