In keeping with the sweet feeling of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to write to you today about a place that is dear to my heart, an organization that provides so much for those who deserve a fresh start, a caring heart and space to heal. It’s a location I’m quite familiar with, as I’ve worked here for just over 3 years now. You may have heard of it? For those who are new, it’s called The Healing Center.
The Healing Center is a non-profit that provides counseling, advocacy and group therapy to survivors of sexual violence. In my mind it is more than just a place to receive services; it’s a sanctuary. Now granted, I may be a bit biased since I work here, but I honestly can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this from others: friends, donors and clients. One survivor, Shawn, started our services last April per the advice of his girlfriend. He called to complete a phone screen and while sharing his story, he felt that the counselor “made it easy, made it really comfortable.” From this initial contact, he agreed to meet for individual counseling and later joined Men’s Group.
Shawn explains, “It feels like you graduate, you move into a whole new level of being. The first 34 years of my life were junior varsity…it’s so different… it feels like my real life can start new. I am so happy they were there when I needed them.”
We believe that everyone, regardless of inability to pay, has the right to heal from sexual abuse. Because of this, all our services are free. We work hard to increase access for those who may need a little extra help walking through our doors by providing bus tickets and vouchers for holistic services such as massage, Reiki and acupuncture.
I think Shawn said it well when he shared, “I wish guys like me, and there’s a lot of them out there… I wish they knew this was here. The Healing Center was everything I needed and more.”