WomenRising is Hudson County’s premier facility for assisting women in need. They have been operating in Jersey City for more than a century, and have a proud history of working with women and their families to provide safety, security, and self-sufficiency. The Partnership for a Healthier JC was proud to award one of its 2018 mini-grants to WomenRising, and we asked them how they’re using the funding. Here are their answers to the same five questions we asked of all the 2018 mini-grantees:
What does building a culture of health mean to you?
For over 110 years, WomenRising has been building a culture of health by assisting women and their families to achieve self-sufficiency and live safe, productive and fulfilling lives. WomenRising offers a variety of programs and services under one roof to provide a holistic approach to our clients who may need one or more services to become self-sufficient. Their needs may include jobs, safety from domestic violence, freedom from substance abuse, a safe home for their children, and/or counseling. The ways WomenRising may meet their needs include supportive counseling, crisis intervention, workforce development, job placement, shelter for victims of domestic violence, outreach, advocacy, and referrals.
What would you identify as your most significant accomplishment so far towards building a greater culture of health? What have been some of your toughest barriers?
WomenRising is the foremost community-based organization for women in Hudson County. Our greatest accomplishment is reflected in the face of each client as she moves through her journey to restore her well-being and become self-sufficient. Whether she came to seek safety from domestic violence, train for a better job, obtain an affordable home, access counseling, or get help with a crisis, our clients’ faces reflect determination. The toughest barriers are overcoming the many obstacles it takes to connect to someone who needs help. We live in a society that seems to become more stressful by the day. People who are under stress are more likely to lash out against family members, turn to substances to cope, feel trapped in harmful relationships or be unable to meet their basic needs. Unfortunately, there are many more in need of our help than reach out to get it.
Tell us about your team. What they do to build a culture of health in Jersey City?
The team involved in our #HealthierJC grant project consists of two partners: WomenRising and ZenJoy Zest. ZenJoy Zest is owned by Beth Bentley, a licensed massage therapist and a MELT Method instructor. Beth is teaching MELT Method, a simple self-care technique using soft balls to WomenRising’s clients. MELT Method eliminates chronic pain, re-hydrates the connective tissue and reduces stress. WomenRising works with women and their families on their journey to self-sufficiency. Learning MELT Method gives WomenRising’s clients a self-care technique to address the stress they experience as they move forward.
How do you plan on using your Culture of Health Grant?
WomenRising is partnering with another Healthier JC partner, ZenJoy Zest, to provide MELT Method Classes for its clients. ZenJoy Zest is providing MELT Method classes at WomenRising’s facility to teach clients a self-care technique they can use to prevent or relieve the physical pain caused by the high level of stress they have experienced. The technique also provides mental health benefits by calming the nervous system which makes it easier for the clients to deal with stressful situations. Living in Jersey City can be stressful for anyone, but it is especially stressful for WomenRising’s clients who have experienced domestic violence, chronic homelessness, substance abuse, difficulty obtaining employment, family crisis, disabilities or issues compounded by poverty. Each client who participates in a class receives a MELT ball to be able to perform the techniques they learned in class. In as little as 10 minutes, they are able to obtain relief as they face their ongoing challenges. MELT Method gives them an easy tool to use as they move forward with WomenRising’s support to build a better life for themselves and their families.
If you knew of an organization that was thinking of joining the Partnership for a Healthier JC, what would you say to encourage them to join?
The frustration of coping with chronic pain and stress can lead people to take actions that harm others or turn to unhealthy habits to cope. Participants in the Partnership for a Healthier JC are providing healthier ways for Jersey City residents to alleviate chronic pain and reduce stress. As partners, we are creating a culture of health in Jersey City.