The Well of Lexington, Inc., formerly known as Refuge, Inc., was originally formed in 2001 by members of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd to provide housing and support for people in need in Central Kentucky and specifically refugee families relocating to Lexington from Africa and the Middle East through Kentucky Refugee Ministries. After 12 years of aiding families in need, the organization determined that it would dissolve and transfer its assets to another non-profit. At the same time, a group of volunteers at Good Shepherd were called to start a program modeled after the successful Thistle Farms program in Nashville to provide housing, case management and employment for women survivors of sex-trafficking, prostitution, drug-addiction and poverty. With the support of the remaining board members of Refuge, Inc., this group of volunteers formed a new Board of Directors and renamed the organization The Well of Lexington.
After four years of hard work and effort, The Well, with the help of many donors and volunteers, opened our first house and residential program for four women on August 29, 2016! Women who enter the Program will live in a supportive community for two years. Working with a professional social worker and case manager, they will receive all of the services they need to heal from past trauma, improve their education and vocational training, and address their physical and emotional health. In addition, our Residents will have the opportunity to work part-time for an approved employer or through a Well-sponsored social enterprise, allowing them to gain life and employment skills that will empower them to live independently, productively, and joyfully, reclaiming control over their lives. The Well is a sister organization of Thistle Farms in Nashville, Tennessee which was founded in 1997.
1. Buying, furnishing and OPENING the doors to our first house and Residential Program for four women on August 29, 2016!
2. Working with women in the Reentry Management Program at the Fayette County Detention Center to provide information on services to access when they are released, and with life-skills training and a forum to discuss trauma, addiction, mental and physical health concerns and ways to envision a different and better life for themselves and their families.
3. Ongoing outreach to community organizations, social service agencies, and local government officials to raise awareness on the occurrence of sex trafficking and prostitution in Central Kentucky, the interrelationships between the sexual exploitation of women, addiction and poverty, the social and financial impact they collectively have on victims and our community as a whole, and the unmet need for housing and the types of services for these women that The Well Lexington will provide.
Through ongoing development efforts, raise sufficient funds to:
1. Provide support and all the services our first Residents need to graduate from the Program in 2018.
2. Hire an Administrator for January 2017 to pursue funding resources and manage day to day operations.
3. Start one or more social enterprises to provide employment for our Residents.
4. Expand our Board of Directors.
1. Ongoing Program Funding of day-to-day Program operations including groceries to supplement food stamp allowances, health care services and needed medications, therapy, drug rehabilitation, legal expenses, transportation expense, gift cards for clothing and personal items, Program materials, vocational and educational materials, household maintenance.
The Well also needs weekly volunteer support.
Please help The Well heal our community, one woman at a time, through the Good Giving campaign.
In 2012, I was invited to a presentation about human trafficking being given at my church by The Rev. Becca Stevens, an Episcopal priest from Nashville. I knew nothing about the subject at the time. That evening, I learned about the residential program for women at risk known as Thistle Farms that Becca started in 1997 for women working the streets of Nashville -- survivors of sex trafficking, prostitution, addiction, and homelessness. Not only was I incredibly moved by what Becca told us about the women Thistle Farms was helping, but even more so by the two Thistle Farms residents who also spoke to us that night. They talked about the trauma they had suffered from an early age, how they had been trafficked for sex, how they became addicts, and the cycle of sexual exploitation, addiction, violence, incarceration and poverty in which they were living until they came to Thistle Farms. Thistle Farms was providing them free housing and all of the social services they needed. Most importantly, for the first time in their lives, they were experiencing love and acceptance without judgment and learning they were valuable as people and deserved to have a successful lives. That night I felt truly called to start a program like Thistle Farms in Lexington as did several of my friends who attended the presentation. Together, we went to Nashville to learn all we could about how to create a program in our community. Four years later, we have opened our own program modeled after Thistle Farms, and with Thistle Farms' encouragement, wise counsel and support.
Our overall goal is to positively impact not only the lives of the women we serve, but our local economy and quality of life.
Modeled after the Magdalene Program at Thistle Farms® in Nashville, Tennessee, we take a "housing first" approach. Women who enter The Well have a welcoming home and community to live in, free-of-charge, for up to two years while they participate in the Program. During this time, each Resident receives comprehensive professional case management to help her obtain all of the services necessary to begin the process of healing. We work closely with other non-profit organizations and government agencies in Central Kentucky to make the following services available to our Residents: medical and dental care; mental health services including intensive outpatient drug/alcohol rehabilitation and individual therapy; ongoing addiction recovery support; and legal help as needed. Our Program Director works with each Resident to establish goals she wants to reach while she is in the Program and a plan for achieving those goals. After a woman has completed Phase I of the Program - about four months -- she will begin receiving vocational and educational training applicable to her needs. In addition, she will have the opportunity to work part-time for an employer in the community approved by The Well or through a social enterprise The Well sponsors. She will be required to save a portion of her earnings toward reaching the goals she has set for herself in the goal plan and receive education on money management. During the entire two years, each Resident will live in a sober community of women at The Well where she will be required to regularly attend 12-step meetings, and will continue to have access to ongoing social and mental health services to support her emotional and physical recovery.
The Board of Directors of The Well and our Program Director work together as a team to perform the duties that an Executive Director would perform. We chose to hire a Program Director first to ensure that we would be able to immediately meet the needs of our residents when they enter the Program. We will be hiring an Administrative Director later this year to start work in 2017.
During the first 90 days, Residents complete a community-based outpatient addiction recovery program consisting of 90 12-Step (AA or NA) meetings. Residents also work with the Program Director to complete a needs assessment, social history and individual/community goal plan. Ongoing one-on-one sessions measure/ monitor progress toward recovery and goals.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Copyright © 2014 Blue Grass Community Foundation
499 East High Street, Lexington, KY 40507