Community Connections

February 2024

Former Sybil Smith Family Village Resident Paying it Forward

Louise, former resident of Dumas Wesley Community Center's transitional housing program, the Sybil Smith Family Village, is giving back to the very program that “saved her life.”


"After graduating from the Home of Grace treatment program, I was homeless and had no place to go. I was relieved when I was accepted into Sybil Smith Family Village because I had the chance to work on my independence and my sobriety," said Louise. "Thanks to the countless case management sessions, life skills classes and 12 Step meetings, I learned how to take care of myself - I was finally comfortable asking for help! It's been over a decade since I graduated from Sybil Smith. I am now a homeowner and a business owner! I firmly believe that I am a better person because of the structure and foundation that was offered to me at Dumas Wesley." 


This past September, Louise began leading 12 Step meetings at the Baldwin Family Village, Dumas Wesley’s Eastern Shore transitional housing program. "We are taught in 12 Step programs to give back in service and to share with others in their recovery journey about how 12 Step programs can help," said Louise. "It's been amazing giving back to a program that helped save my life. It fills my heart with joy and happiness to say, 'I've been there, I've done that, I was able to change my life and your life can change too.’”


Today, Louise is married and living in Daphne with her husband and three-year-old daughter. Her hope is that her experience will resonate with the ladies in shelter and encourage them to keep going.

Click here to learn more about Dumas Wesley's transitional housing programs the Sybil Smith Family Village and Baldwin Family Village.

Dumas Wesley Board Member Spotlight

Rosemary Lamar, member of Dumas Wesley’s Board of Directors, has been involved with Dumas Wesley for many years. “I accepted the invitation to join Dumas Wesley's Board of Directors with enthusiasm," said Lamar. "It’s been a blessing for me to carry out my mission of service to my community. As a board member, I’ve gained so much insight into the strategic planning and day-to-day financial responsibilities necessary for Dumas Wesley to continue to serve those in need. I feel blessed to be on the Board and am so grateful for the opportunity to serve and help others." 


Recently, Lamar has been giving back to youth in the After School Achievement Program (ASAP). She volunteers each week as a reading buddy to promote reading fluency and literacy skills. "I look forward to my time with the children, especially since I have no children of my own. When I'm reading, I hope the children feel transported to a new place or a new experience. Reading enhances understanding. And it is good for the soul - it keeps children focused on the right things to do in life. These kids add joy to my life. They have been such a blessing to me as we read and learn together," said Lamar.


The After School Achievement Program provides a variety of academic and character-building activities for underserved youth. Programming includes: tutoring, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) workshops, career exploration, sports activities, a meal program and special "youth-empowered" events. Click here to learn more about Dumas Wesley's After School Achievement Program.

Local Church Gives Back to Baldwin Family Village

Since the Baldwin Family Village (BFV) opened in May of 2023, members of City Hope Church have been rolling up their sleeves and giving back in a big way! Volunteers have tackled projects that included: revamping the life skills classroom, pressure washing and lining the parking lot, sponsoring meals, tutoring and sponsoring special events for residents in shelter.

"Supper at night is food security. I have less stress and peace of mind about what my babies will eat. Full bellies for them mean better sleep and better behavior. It gives me hope there are still good people in the world, like the City Hope group. It also shifts my perspective on this phase of my life. I am still worthy of kindness and good things." --- Baldwin Family Village resident

The Baldwin Family Village (BFV) is Baldwin County’s first transitional housing program. The BFV provides 12 months of housing and wrap-around services for up to 100 homeless women and children annually. To-date the program has served 63 individuals and 12 families have successfully transitioned from homelessness to a home of their own. Click here to learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Baldwin Family Village.

Dumas Wesley Highlights

In February, seniors in the Senior Activities for Independent Living (SAIL) Program enjoyed a special day with students from the Alabama School of Math and Science's Gentle Stretching PE Class. 

"Fourteen students were tasked to create and teach a chair exercise routine for senior citizens in the community. I wanted to remind the students that moving and stretching every day is beneficial to all age groups from children to the elderly. Thank you for allowing us to volunteer and share the importance of being active and fit for life."

--- Angel Jackson, Physical Education and Athletics Instructor/Athletic Director, 

Alabama School of Math and Science 

Dumas Wesley Community Center is pleased to announce the promotion of Cathi Parish as the House Manager for the Baldwin Family Village. 

"I began working on the night staff at the Baldwin Family Village in the summer of 2023. I am passionately committed to this program and its residents. Helping to provide a nurturing environment for the women and children allows me to live out my personal calling. I hope each resident who passes through these doors will feel supported and be able to thrive!"

--- Cathi Parish, House Manager, Baldwin Family Village

2023 - A Year in Review!

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