Supporting the Whole Woman with CFLS

By: Robyn Rudish-Laning

The current focus of the Junior League of Washington (JLW) on improving literacy in the Washington, DC, area takes on many shapes beyond the image of teaching children to read that often comes to mind. The League’s work with Community Family Life Services (CFLS), a nonprofit that works to help low-income and homeless individuals and families navigate life post-incarceration, is one such example.

Twice a month, JLW volunteers plan Connection Night programs for both parents and children who reside at CFLS’s transitional housing center. For parents, these programs are focused on life skills training – with the goal of helping individuals achieve personal growth, social and economic self-sufficiency, and independence.

One of the more important events that JLW volunteers coordinate is an annual self defense class. This year’s class took place on Thursday, March 10. Alex Duncan, a licensed SASS Go self-defense instructor, joined an intimate group of JLW members and women from CFLS to teach a 30-minute class focused on setting healthy boundaries, enforcing them, and how to protect themselves – all topics vital to maintaining one’s safety.

CFLS’s integrated care approach ensures that individuals have the tools and resources they need to thrive after experiencing poverty, homelessness, or incarceration. JLW members can best support CFLS by learning about it, says CFLS Committee Chair Cierra Billings.

“By understanding the challenges of people within our community, we can be greater leaders and practice empathy in our various endeavors,” Billings said.

Learn more about CFLS and JLW’s supporting work here.