by
Positive Change
Begin again with love - Inspiration from Lotus Village

“No matter what’s happened in your life, you can begin again with love.”

— Constance Collins

It might take a village, but a village takes homes and to make a home it takes love. Love is what Constance Collins, President and Executive Director of Lotus Village in Miami, Florida starts with.

Lotus Village is a 100,000+ square-foot, five-story residential facility with expanded capacity to shelter approximately 500 women and children nightly, a therapeutic children’s wellness center, and neighborhood health clinic. Designed as a prototype for the future, this comprehensive mixed-use “village” combines state of the art shelter facilities and holistic, trauma-informed, supportive services. Together, Constance and Lotus Village are remaking the template for how a social services agency can most profoundly inspire positive change for homeless women and children.

When we asked Constance how homelessness is overcome by a fresh consideration of “home” she explained that home is more than a physical structure.

 “Home is the foundation for everything we do at Lotus Village,” she told us. “It’s a place where a child feels safe. A sanctuary. A foundation to thrive in, within the larger world. In a home, a bed to sleep in is as important to prosperity in the world as food, education and health care are. If you lack a home, all else – job, career, health and well-being – are all jeopardized. A home is the most fundamental ingredient for a safe and secure life.”

“Home is the foundation for everything we do at Lotus Village"

Constance extends this same deep consideration to break out the cause and effect, (and by extension the solution) to homelessness for women and children.

“When you think about what it means to be a homeless woman, you have to know that nearly always, it’s because of violence,” she shared. “It is normative for homeless women and their children to be traumatized by some kind of violence. The result being that they’re forced to survive by being invisible. Homelessness is an escape from violence where women and children experience a loss of community and where all social ties are wrenched completely away. They are forced to ask ‘who am I without any of this?’ It’s especially important to consider what this does to children. There are more homeless children than adults who are growing up in non-normative shelter systems. For them especially, we need to create more enriched environments in order to break the cycle.”

Constance went on to explain the solution: “We create a respectful environment at Lotus Village that offers dignity and dissolves all judgement and stereotyping. We create a wraparound support system that tells you that your life matters. Lotus Village brings you out of the shadows of invisibility. We honor the precious gift of life and offer the ground to begin growing from again—a place to heal and begin a safer more prosperous future.”

The selection of a lotus blossom as the icon and namesake for Lotus Village was a conscious choice.

“The pink lotus flower is a universal symbol of compassion around the world,” she explained. “The lotus flower grows from the mud and darkness and blooms in the light. It’s a perfect metaphor for transforming our experience of a challenged human condition into a sweeter love – and a better consciousness of who we truly are.”

"When you receive wraparound love, care and nurturing, the natural reaction is to grow."

The wraparound support that Lotus Village provides isn’t limited to safe housing. It also includes an education center, an arts and activities lab, the Healing Hands salon, a dining pavilion and a working classroom kitchen. An innovative health and wellness center offers holistic body/mind/spirit practices that include acupuncture, yoga and meditation. When asked how homeless women and families are enriched by holistic practice, Constance replied: “When you have a history of trauma there is a tendency to withdraw in fear in order to survive. Holistic practices offer safe space for healing to occur which is most needed for anyone to begin again. These are alternative and valuable pathways to healing and their success is measured in the ultimate outcome: a 90% successful exit rate from Lotus Village. When you receive wraparound love, care and nurturing, the natural reaction is to grow. Our holistic practices are family orientated. Trauma breaks bonds of family attachment. Our practices bring mother and children together to heal and it rebuilds the bonds of attachment. Lotus Village is predicated on the belief that we are all one and profoundly interconnected. I don’t think about yoga as a pathway to self-improvement, but a pathway for our collective improvement.

Aura Cacia
Inspired By The Power Of Positive Change
https://www.auracacia.com

At Aura Cacia we are inspired by the power of positive change. In our own lives and in the lives of women everywhere. Our essential oils, skin care oils and more are made from simple and pure botanical ingredients to unlock nature’s ability to improve our well-being. We source our ingredients carefully and sustainably from the best sources around the world, then test every shipment of essential oil we receive to verify its purity and quality. Since our beginnings in 1982 – and since 1993, as part of Frontier Co-op – we’ve believed in spreading positive change together. So, each time you purchase an Aura Cacia product, you support organizations that help women transform their lives through our Positive Change Project.

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12 Comments

Amy G 575030068

July 1, 2018 - 2:21am

Wow, I am not alone in wanting a home like this. I have wAnted to start a womans home having past trauma and wanting to give back. Anyway to get more information?

Peggyann S

June 30, 2018 - 11:56am

I would love to know the steps to take to create a center where I reside

Paula B 1496738947

June 28, 2018 - 1:07pm

I don’t understand why you have contacted me. I am not in need of a place to live.

Minerva R 449519592

June 22, 2018 - 2:04pm

Bless you, for all you do for this woman and children.  You give them hope, and a future. God bless.

Amber L 1652333964

June 20, 2018 - 2:33pm

I give these women, graditue for what they are doing for these homeless women and children, and yes we need more places like this around. Thank you ladies for what you are doing

Gail Z

June 16, 2018 - 9:32am

A great place for children and adults to help enjoy life.

Carol M 23624450

June 12, 2018 - 1:17pm

Wonderful place! Thank you for sharing!

Megan M 1074865153

May 17, 2018 - 1:16pm

What a beautiful place. I can’t wait to see more Lotus Villages pop up around the country. They are much needed!

Autumn B 121413862

June 18, 2018 - 7:29am

Imagine if these were all over. There would be alot more happy woman raising their children with strength and courage to do so. My hats off to these ladies. They show great amounts of love and compassion

Djuana W

May 17, 2018 - 11:02am

That’s really neat. I always thought if I hit the lotto I’d run an orphanage.  This is such a great thing! I love the holistic opportunities that these women can learn and these will last them the rest of their lives!

BumbleBrie

May 17, 2018 - 5:46am

Great! We should have at least one in every state

Ginny Q

May 15, 2018 - 9:43am

Beautiful place to have children and women refocus their lives!

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