For Jenny Crawford, it started with a conversation with a woman—a mother of two children, ages 4 and a newborn—the same ages as Jenny’s two boys. They discussed their similar struggles of life, mothership, work and balance; yet were divided by one critical factor. Opportunity. This woman was grappling with homelessness and related challenges, where Jenny was not.
“I knew at that moment, if I could play even a small role in helping this mom move forward in life, to have her own home where her kids could thrive, that was what I needed—and wanted—to do.”
As the Director of Development & Communications at the Light House Homeless Prevention Support Center in Maryland (link), Jenny plays a crucial role in helping the organization deliver on its mission: To help people rebuild lives by providing shelter and services—and empowering them to be self-sufficient.
It is Jenny’s firm belief that through compassion and understanding, communities can come together. Individuals can heal and renew themselves. But this doesn’t happen overnight.
Understanding an individual’s causes of homelessness can be complex—it’s a journey that can be arduous and slow. A key component of this discovery process is self-reflection; to identify challenges, obstacles and root issues in order to overcome them.
For Jenny, their Sacred Place is the ideal location for this kind of metamorphosis. The Light House clients use nature as a place for quiet contemplation; an escape from chaos for those who are in crisis and feeling vulnerable. A beautiful environment to uplift their spirits. Regenerate. Find hope, energy and motivation to move on with their lives.
Similarly, staff use it as a quiet reprieve in a peaceful setting, to ruminate on the needs of those we serve and remind ourselves of the traumatic experiences our clients have faced, and how The Light House plays a role in their journey to self-sufficiency.
“To our clients who have lived the trauma of homelessness, nature is healing. For them, a safe, beautiful space has been a rarity. To be able to sit in quiet solitude and study and appreciate our natural environment, is also learning to understand themselves.”
Driven by the desire to make her community a better place, and a firm belief that we, as humans, are part of nature—and thrive when connected to it—is what makes Jenny a Nature Sacred Firesoul. She believes in a great Togetherness—one that is inspiring, effective and driven from all the right places. Heart. Nature. People working together. Quite a potent cocktail!
Photo credit: Maureen Porto
Photo credit: Maureen Porto.