August 2016 Philanthropy
Western Mass Recovery Learning Community
What is the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community?
We've worked hard to make this challenging to answer. We are a community, first and foremost. A group of people joined together by commonality and an interest in the furtherance of eachother and our collective. We are from all ranges of places and backgrounds, with a common thread of a trauma history.
We are a human rights organization, looking to support the respect for peoples humaness in places where that grasp may be harder to hold.
We have centers, physical spaces where people are able to rest, connect with resources, create and find a place in.
We have a respite, Afiya, in Northampton where people are able to rest in comfortable rooms. The stay isn't limited by our walls and people can enjoy the freedom to go through a crisis in a way that is genuine and supported. We support people to find housing, get into drug detox, reunite with children, go to school, start a business, create art and whatever makes the most sense for them. We accept people where they are. We love them even when it's hard. We hold newborn babies and we mourn together.
I am missing so much of the work we do. I am reminded of my daughter, Valencia, sitting at a table in our Bowen Resource Center in Springfield, learning how to play chess. The person teaching her had a hard life, where maybe people didn't always treat him like a person. This moment was different. This wild haired child in a princess dress saw him as a teacher and that day, he taught my daughter to play a game I love. My life is full of love and interesting good people. That's how I see the RLC. A place where people will look at you and allow you to be you, period.- Earl Miller, Western Mass RLC Community Member.