Reflections by Cheryl Sesnon

As we begin this new year, I’m apprehensive about the changing political climate and policies that impact the women we serve, especially the push for people experiencing poverty to “just get a job,” without regard for their complex situations.

While I agree getting a job is an ideal solution, there are numerous circumstances that can prevent this. Jubilee serves many women who have been victims of domestic violence; when they leave that relationship, they are deeply wounded and need to heal. About half of our clients are women of color who experience disproportionate barriers to employment. Other residents are stigmatized because they are transgender, have criminal records, or struggled with addiction. Then there are the women who have experienced severe trauma, like losing family in the Oso landslide or being a victim of human trafficking. As you can see, there is a real need for support for many women to “just get a job.”

What sets Jubilee apart is…time, a holistic approach, and community living…

What sets Jubilee apart is a program that combines time, a holistic approach, and community living to help women stabilize and make sustainable life changes:

  • Time: Many shelters provide safety and warmth for a short time. The difference with Jubilee is women stay in our housing, on average, 22 months. Recovering from trauma, learning new skills, and rebuilding confidence doesn’t happen overnight—it takes time to heal and change.
  • Holistic Approach: Homelessness is generally the result of complex issues. Jubilee provides care management, classes, and other activities that address 10 key aspects of successful living. Each of our clients assesses her strengths and challenges and makes a personal roadmap for growth.
  • Community Living: Every Jubilee resident enjoys a private room, but other areas are shared. While living in community can be challenging (imagine having 26 housemates!) our residents learn how to navigate and appreciate diverse personalities, cultures, and backgrounds.


The bottom line: Jubilee is needed now more than ever. Thank you for your continued support!

Download a PDF of the Winter 2017 Jubilee News in which this article appears.