The Healing WELL: A community for healing, renewal and growth
May 2018 Newsletter
Dear Friends,

“I’m bigger than my addiction.” That’s what “Mandy” reminded herself throughout the entire Gentle Movement class - and it’s the mantra to which she returns as she continues to face her triggers.

Mandy used to purchase her drugs on the corner of Turk and Hyde, the location of the mini-park where The Healing WELL offers a weekly Gentle Movement class. It took courage and community for Mandy to return to that site for Monday’s wellness class with her friends. Upon arrival, she counted 7 dealers from whom she used to buy. Syringes and needles - the same ones she used to use - littered the ground.
Kamala leading a Gentle Movement class at the Turk/Hyde mini-park
Sitting in the chair, she noticed the bits of plastic which floated in the breeze around her legs; she knew they were pieces from bags which once held dope. One landed on her shoe, inviting her to succumb to the temptation to give up and give in.

“I looked into (Mercy Corps Volunteer) Emily’s eyes, and I found strength. I watched (teacher) Kamala’s movement, and I knew I could do this too. I saw my friends stretching and meditating around me, and realized I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t going to let the desire to use drugs take me down again. There was more to me than drugs. In that moment, I won.”

I’m very grateful to Mandy for sharing this story with me. In the recounting of this experience, Mandy reminded me of the power of what we are doing in community. She reaffirmed my desire and need to be here. The challenge, pain and injustice around me is great, no doubt. Yet, the conviction, honesty and faith of the people with whom I talk and walk each day is a gift. Like Mandy said, I am not alone; I, and all of us, are greater than our struggles. From that, we derive hope and strength.

June 1 st is the third birthday of The Healing WELL.  I invite you to join our community and be inspired by participants like Mandy. Come visit us.   Volunteer.   Friend us on Facebook.   Make a donation. Know that we are deeply grateful for your support.


Kathy Curran
Eddy Street Block Party
In April, in partnership with the Central CIty S.R.O. Collaborative , The Onsen , and the Golden Gate Block Safety Group , The Healing WELL organized the first 400 Eddy Block party. Our participants joined neighbors in painting faces and planting seeds; staffing tables to register voters and meet candidates; playing with chalk and dancing; eating popcorn, drinking Kombucha and devoured cookies and tarts (thanks Schubert's Bakery ) Inside our walls we offered Sound Healing and Gentle Movement classes. Outside, we enjoyed the sunshine and forged relationships. As we settle into our new home, we look forward to being vital members of our Eddy Street block community.
Suicide Prevention Workshop
Briana Megid
Micaela Presti
Brian Cahill
Suicide has affected almost every one of us. With the increased risk factors we face in The Healing WELL community, like mental health challenges and substance problems, we decided to offer two suicide prevention and awareness workshops. Thank you to Briana Megid, volunteer with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention , Micaela Presti, volunteer with the Crisis Text Line , and Brian Cahill, author of Cops, Cons and Grace: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Suicide , for sharing your wisdom, pain and support to help us learn about the warning signs, resources and ways to help one another in profound need. We thank, too, donors Rocco’s Cafe for the delicious Italian dinner at our first workshop, and Bon Appetit, for amazing Indian food that nourished us during the second workshop.
The Power of Touch
In its annual Maundy Thursday tradition, Care Through Touch Institute (CTI) volunteers offered foot massages and new socks for Healing WELL participants and passersby. On top of the physical need to care for sore and tired feet, CTI’s human touch reaches people’s hearts and souls, too. We’re grateful for CTI’s partnership with The Healing WELL through Lois, who bi-weekly offers Healing Touch to our participants.
Sharing Our Wisdom: Dorian and June
Recently, Dorian and June shared at San Francisco State University’s Homelessness Teach-In about their struggle to hold onto their identities while homeless and fighting against various systems. Being a part of communities like The Healing WELL, and taking classes like Writing, Poetry, Meditation, and Yoga has helped them express themselves, find peace and continue on . In the past few weeks, other Healing WELL community members also have shared their compelling journeys toward healing and wellness with retreatants at San Francisco’s Jungian Institute, neighbors at several residential hotels, clients at the Veterans Administration, and in an interview with reporter Kevin Fagan of the San Francisco Chronicle .
Participant Expression
I’m grateful to the roommate who showed me hate
So that I could better see where my own actions were lacking in compassion.
I’m grateful to the friends who betrayed me
So that I could see more clearly the ones who did not.

I’m grateful to the man who wronged me
So that I could learn, not just to forgive, but to know forgiveness when I did the same.

I’m grateful to my family who turned me away in my time of need
So that I could learn how to survive on my own.

I’m grateful for my weaknesses
So that in transcending them, I could find my strength.
With the clay donated by our Art teacher, Leslie, participants created beautiful pots, plates and figurines to decorate the plant shelves in our front window. 
Donations by check, addressed to "The Healing WELL," are also welcome. Please mail them directly to:
The Healing WELL
c/o Community Initiatives
1000 Broadway Street, Ste. 480
Oakland, CA 94607
The Healing WELL is a fiscally-sponsored project of Community Initiatives
415.500.2099 | |