Angel Interview of the Month
Each month, The Angelrock Project features an Angel Interview of the Month, interviews with people who provide unique and life-saving services within large non-profit organizations. We hope that by reading their stories, you will understand their special contribution to society by working for invaluable NGO's within the organization's headquarters or in the field.
Jonelle Allen is co-founder and board chair of The Lynn House, a drug and alcohol treatment program for vulnerable, frightened and destitute women in Orange County, CA that offers critical services in a loving and nurturing home environment.
Q: Can you explain what The Lynn House is?
A: The Lynn House is a residence for women typically between the ages of 18 and 80 years old. These are women with a history of alcoholism, drug abuse, poor employment records, poor health, and who are spiritually bankrupt. Each month the Lynn House provides 15 women with a platform to re-enter society as a productive and proud member.
Q: What is the mission of The Lynn House? And why is this so important?
A. The Lynn House is a drug and alcohol free environment that offers a foundation for vulnerable, frightened, and destitute women to build the confidence, self respect and dignity needed to realize their full potential within the community.
Q: Are there any organizations that serve similar needs that the Lynn House does in Orange County?
A. There is only one other place that serves women as the Lynn House does. It is called the Ashland Home in Laguna Hills, California.
Q: How does the house run? Is there a specific program women follow?
A. All volunteers and board members freely donate their time and services. They are driven by their personal understanding of the adversity and instability these women are experiencing. The Lynn House is one of only two houses of this kind in all of Orange County. The Lynn House relies solely on the generosity of our donors.
A woman entering The Lynn House for the ?rst time is accepted fully and enveloped with love and support from the volunteers and other residents. However, upon arrival, she is expected to follow the rules of the house and conduct herself in a manner that is conducive to the safe and healing environment that The Lynn House provides. During her stay, a woman can begin to restore herself physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially. Subsequently, she is able to pass on these restorative qualities to the next woman in need who enters the door of the house. In this manner, The Lynn House is able to build a foundation for these women as well as a community within a community.
Within a period of time, and with the help and support of her fellow residents, a woman can begin to search for jobs and plan ways to become self-sufficient outside of the boundaries of the house. Her fellow residents, along with our female volunteers, are able to share with her their experience, strength and hope. With this type of assistance and encouragement, she is able to become familiar with additional supportive environments in the community that will help her maintain her growth.
Q: What resources are available to women who reside at the house?
A. We follow the 12 step program at the house. We also help the resident to access the Internet when they are ready to search for jobs. Additionally, we refer them to other resources in our area that can further help their success in life.
Q: How are the women selected? Who can become a part of the community?
A. All of our residents are women who have nowhere else to go. They are women who have alcohol and drug problems and have hit rock bottom. All residents are selected on a "first come, first serve" basis.
Q: How is working with the Lynn House personal to you?
A. It is personal to me because I truly believe that "we are all one and all connected."
Q: What makes the Lynn House so special?
A. The women we serve, the fact that we are run with volunteers only, and the hope that we give our residents the moment they step inside the residence.
Q: Can you talk about a story from The Lynn House that inspired you?
A. Each story is inspiring to me because when a woman first comes into The Lynn House, she is feeling beaten down, less than, and is full of shame. Then gradually she starts feeling better physically and I actually see a light start to shine her eyes. It is when I see this light that I know the person is on the road to recovery. That to me is inspiring.
Q: What is the success rate of women entering The Lynn House?
A. I cannot say for sure. We have been up and running for 5 years and not all women stay in touch. However, many who have stayed in contact have gone on to become productive members of the community, healthy moms, and excellent students. Moreover, they become volunteers themselves.
Q: What are the biggest challenges the house faces?
A. It is very difficult to keep our doors open. Of course, this is vital to being able to continue to help women in need. Because we are run solely on a volunteer basis, with absolutely no paid staff, getting financial donations is not only an on-going process, but it is crucial to our survival.
Q: How can people support The Lynn House?
A. The best ways to support The Lynn House is to encourage women who have successfully gone though recovery to volunteer at our resident. And, and of course, making financial contributions is important and very much appreciated.
Q: Where do the financial donations go?
A. Donations are used for food, utilities, and rent.
Q: Ten years down the road, what is your hope for The Lynn House?
A. Hopefully, we will eventually own two homes, one for primary women and one for our transitional women. This would be so helpful in helping women for the long-term and crucial to their success in overcoming their addictions. I also think it is important for our women to know that we will always be there for them.
Q: Do you have a motto? If so what is it?
A: "A Sober Woman is a Class Act"
Q: What is your favorite book?
A. A morning meditation book called "The Courage to Change."
Q: Please leave us with a lasting thought.
A. I would just like to say that being of service for fun and for free and doing it lovingly, quietly and not boastfully makes you feel really good inside.
Donations to the Lynn House
The doors to The Lynn House are open only because of the generosity of our donors. Please know that all of your help goes directly to providing a healing environment for the women who come through our doors. All people involved with The Lynn House freely donate their time. Your contributions help us in some of the following ways:
Please send a check to:
To donate via credit card, please visit The Lynn House website at www.thelynnhouse.org or call (714) 438-0110.
All Contributions are 100% Tax Deductible: Federal Tax ID # 201315134
Past Angel Interview of the Month
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