Three years ago, LHM partnered with The Salvation Army and Union Gospel Mission to begin something called The Journey. Every other month we take up to ten women from the dtes, many caught in drug addiction and prostitution, to Linwood House on the Sunshine Coast. For three days we shower them with love, grace, warm beds, wholesome nourishing food, we share the stories of our lives with each other, we build friendships that last beyond the Journey. Through art, music, nature, meditation and other creative outlets, we give opportunities for the women to share and process the pain of their lives and dare to dream of something different. And we covenant, in relationship, to walk the journeys of each of the women we meet. We spend time with them in their community, going for walks, coffee, movies, and simply nurturing friendship with them.
Just as we are committed to the healing and transformation of women, we are also committed to the healing and transformation of a community. And we believe that it is the residents of the dtes, as they begin the process of healing in their own lives, who will rise up to bring healing and hope and new life to their community. And so not only did we feel called to invest in the lives of women, but we also felt called to invest in the community, called to be part of bringing light and hope and love to a place of darkness.
In 2006 that door opened up, and we were given the opportunity to take over a second floor space in a run down building in the heart of the dtes. We would name it The Great Room, after the sacred space of the same name at Linwood House. It is the place where so much of relationship happens at the Journey and so we thought it was fitting to bring that, in both name and spirit, to our new space in the dtes. After several months of solid work, painting, donations of furniture and time by hoards of volunteers, the Great Room opened its’ doors in December of 2006. We have since relocated to a beautiful space in Grace Mansion's women's lounge on the corner of Princess and Hastings. We have a beautiful view of the North Shore mountains through the floor to ceiling windows, comfy couches and chairs, and access to hot water!!!
Like Linwood House, The Great Room is a cozy space. There are books, magazines, coffee, music, and art supplies to inspire rest, to draw out beauty in ourselves and each other, and to help nurture relationship. Our dream is that it will be a gathering place for women from all communities to connect through the stories of their lives. Currently we are open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 10-2 as well as on Friday evenings.
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