Formerly homeless women at Jubilee Women’s Center give back with gifts to others experiencing homelessness

During the holiday season especially, individuals experiencing homelessness and poverty are typically highlighted as those needing support. Here we shine a light on a group of formerly homeless and low-income women who are giving support.

Inspired by a letter from a resident in the Jubilee Women’s Center program, executive director Cheryl Sesnon this year proposed a different approach to the usual practical gift from Jubilee’s board of directors to each of the 43 residents. With the help of Scott Smalling, a Jubilee donor and owner of Relief Bed, Cheryl purchased a relief kit (including sleeping pad, hat, gloves, personal hygiene items, first aid kit, rain poncho, and emergency blanket) for each resident at a significant discount. Jubilee board members and community partner Caffe Vita covered the cost.

This week the women at Jubilee will begin giving away their gifts. They will spend time personalizing each kit with items they know from firsthand experience will provide comfort for someone else experiencing homelessness this holiday season—things like a gift card, a personal note, and comfort items they wish they’d had when experiencing homelessness. In return, as Julie shares in her letter, Jubilee residents receive the joy of knowing they have helped someone in need more than them at the holidays.