This fall, AWBW Executive Director Cathy Salser met with CEO Donna Deutchman and her staff at collaborating partner, Habitat for Humanity Santa Clarita/San Fernando Valley, to prepare for our next phase of partnership using art as a resource to transform trauma in the lives of returning veterans and their families.
Since 2012 Habitat for Humanity SF/SCV Trauma Specialist Pamela Braly has been piloting the AWBW program with returning veterans and their spouses and children. Last year, A Window Between Worlds was selected as a “best practice” and part of the program in the model being developed by Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys to address the needs of veterans throughout the State of California. Known as the Enriched Neighborhood® model, this outcome based home ownership and supportive services approach is being replicated throughout California.
Windows Workshops led by Habitat for Humanity SF/SCV’s Trauma Specialist Pamela Braly offer a precious window of safety and healing as veterans reintegrate with their families, address issues of PTSD and military sexual trauma, and emerge as stronger, more hopeful, more empowered members of our community. With one full year of the pilot complete for the first phase of families in Sylmar and Santa Clarita, Habitat for Humanity SF/SCV is seeing a 66% average improvement on the self-efficacy score one year later. 26 families have been selected for phase 2 and the selection process is underway for 24 more families in phase 3. Sites in Riverside and Palmdale will be up next. In early 2016, Pam and AWBW staff will co-lead a training to prepare the next phase of Habitat staff members from Northern Los Angeles and Riverside Counties to share the Windows program with veterans.