As part of my Sophomore year Online Journalism course at La Salle University, I worked with students from the LGU capstone as they began their service projects for the Spring Semester. The students I worked with were assigned to the Canaan Family Life Center. Here are some photos of the building and the surrounding area taken on an iPhone 5.
The students who were assigned to the Family Life Center were Kellsey Turner and Francesca Clerjeune. I was able to get in touch with Turner to find out more about her work with the Family Life Center.
The Family Life Center works in association with the Canaan Baptist Church, but it is a separate entity. Their mission is to provide the people of Germantown with the services and resources necessary for a quality life. They offer services such as counseling, education, job training, incarceration re-entry assistance, food and clothing, and housing assistance. The Family Life Center is working to provide and support the people of Germantown.
In order to provide these services, the Family Life Center receives grants. In addition to grants, the food pantry is associated with with Philabundance and is able to receive additional items from them. They also receive donations from the community and members of the Canaan Baptist Church. The Family Life Center also works with La Salle’s Exploring Nutrition Program to receive resources, specifically with the Easter Food Drive for their food pantry.
The Family Life Center offers education and economic services and resources to meet the people of Germantown and their strong need for these services.
Turner works specifically with the Incarceration re-entry assistance program. The program is called Sisters Returning Home and is directed by Peggy Sims. The program works with previously incarcerated women to assist them with their re-entry into the community by providing housing assistance, food, clothing, and help finding a job. The women are also assisted with identifying their needs and goals and the program works to address their needs as well as fulfill their goals. The program helps empower the women to take action in their own lives and provides them with the resources they need to do so.
Turner is in the process of building a website for Sisters Returning Home. She is also assisting in creating and maintaining Facebook, Twitter. and LinkedIn pages for the organization.
Peggy Sims founded Sisters Returning Home in 2007 after working with women in prison. By working with these women, she learned that there was a specified need for women in prison because their special needs were not being met and they had fewer resources than most prisons for men.
“Peggy is a passionate woman. She loves helping others and she loves her work. A member of the Canaan Baptist Church who attends regularly, Peggy is an inspiration and a joy to work with.” Turner said.
Turner continued, “I can’t say I’ve had any overly emotional experiences. It has been a lot of fun and I look forward to going there every week. I find my work to be fulfilling and I like knowing that I am able to make such a positive impact on the organization.”