Woman of the Month - Sydia Limehouse!
Sydia Limehouse has been a BASSY woman, way before I defined the term. Starting The Lost Angels Society (TLAS), ten years ago, predominately funding it, from her own pocket and later receiving additional funding from her eight board members and people from the community. The Lost Angels Society's primary purpose is to provide a safe haven for youth and families that are "lost" and voiceless. Having felt lost and voiceless herself, at a time in her life, she was motivated early on to make sure that others didn't feel the same.
She understands that "You don't have to be a product of your environment. You don't have to be what you've gone through. You're not the examples of your parents or your family. You can live after everything you've gone through in life". Sydia has lived through some of the same experiences as those who come across her door. She witnessed the experiences of those she's worked with while serving in shelters. Through her experience, she learned the system's ins and outs, positives, and negatives; despite efforts to affect change and wants to be the difference in all the what providing resources for youth and families has to offer.
The ultimate goal for TLAS is to be able to be a primary outlet for youth and families to plug into without the stigma that comes from homelessness and needing supports. TLAS wants to be able to provide a Utopian Center, a one-stop facility that offers a multitude of services, including food, clothes, shelter. A 24 hour recreational center, including a track, game room, full gym, basketball courts, etc. Mentoring, counseling, therapy, self-esteem and self-care classes, GED courses and professional certifications, home economics and financial literacy, parenting classes, and a daycare. A transitional facility that has 150 emergency beds while members prepare for more stable housing. A place that feels more like a home a step up from jail. Sydia wants people to feel "human and dignified, regardless of what issues they are facing."
Although Sydia and TLAS are still working on obtaining this dream facility, she's already doing the work. Not having a facility, doesn't stop her from opening her doors to people in need, reaching out to members of the community to volunteer their own home for shelter or leaning on trusted resources and facilities she's worked in prior for a helping hand. It doesn't stop her from counseling, organizing community events, or spreading the word about TLAS. TLAS is not about solving all of one's problems in a day; it's about giving someone one less thing to struggle with today and prevention for the future. Having 1 Center in NY would a dream, but Sydia's vision is to have a TLAS available all over the United States eventually!
To Help TLAS reach its goal, donate to their Go Fund Me: https://www.gofundme.com/f/5th-annual-back-to-school-bookbag-drive?member=2219170
To learn more about Sydia and TLAS go to their website: https://www.thelostangelssociety.org/