Every March, Janice Glenn-Slaughter, director of community housing at Odyssey House, commemorates Women’s History Month with a special event that is aimed at boosting self-esteem and encouraging female bonding. It’s an important event here as many of the women in our programs are coping with low self-esteem and a history of domestic violence or sexual abuse.
“My goal is to give the women in our programs a day to celebrate their achievements,” Ms. Glenn-Slaughter said. “They have been through so much in their lives, and by looking back at the challenges they faced before coming into treatment, they are able to fully appreciate and be proud of their accomplishments.”
This year marks the fifth year Ms. Glenn-Slaughter has organized a women’s day event and the program included musical performances, two inspirational guest speakers from Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS) and poetry readings by tenants from our housing residences. Many of the speakers, such as Valerie F., regained custody of their children while in treatment and shared their stories of reunification. Valerie said, “At Odyssey House, I learned how to be accepting of myself and how to be a loving parent.” At the end of the program, the “Woman of the Year” award was presented to Denise P., an Odyssey House alumna, for her dedication to her peers. After completing treatment at the MABON and Outpatient Services, Denise became one of the first mentees to enroll in OH ROCS. She is now president of the OH ROCS Council and continues to mentor others in early recovery.
|Denise P. (center) with Odyssey House housing staff.|