Shaping Safety and Equality In Our Community

lucky ones

As a Case Manager I often ask myself who in our community may not know about the services we provide or may not have access to them. While we do our best to reach marginalized communities, it takes time to take a look within our own organization and ask who still isn’t here. This question may never be fully answered, there may always be populations out there that we need to reach. However, I wanted to outline a few of the things we are currently working on in order to bring in some of those folks who may have yet to hear about us.

Inclusive art in our office spaces: We recently acquired a few pieces of art from the Amplifier Digital Lab program. These pieces reflect our communities’ voices and continuous struggles for equity.  In collaboration with a local donor, we were able to have these pieces printed and framed. At Peace House, we understand the importance of art and the messages we receive from it, which is why we strive to make sure our office spaces are sending a message of acceptance and safety.

Seeking Safety and other programming at the Summit County Jail: Currently, Peace House staff teaches Seeking Safety at the Summit County Jail. Seeking Safety is an evidence-based, present-focused counseling model to help people attain safety from trauma and/or substance use disorders. It is an extremely safe model as it directly addresses both trauma and addiction, but does not require clients to delve into the trauma narrative. In addition to Seeking Safety, Peace House staff is working with community partners to bring in additional programming to the jail. These programs are still being scheduled and are almost ready but we are excited to see how this community collaboration benefits the people incarcerated at the jail. They will include resume writing and employment-related assistance, detailed walk troughs of the organizations in our community that can assist with resources, drawing and painting classes, relationship and consent classes and continued Seeking Safety classes.

Queer folk advocacy: In addition to the above activities, we have begun to work closely with community partners to create safe spaces for the queer youth in our community. In collaboration with Lucky One's Coffee, there will be a Queer Happy-Hour where queer youth and their allies can meet to share space and stories. Everyone is invited!

Evelyn Cervantes
Bilingual Case Manager