The Young Women’s House
In March, one resident of the long-term home for young women was diagnosed with COVID-19 and had to enter quarantine in a facility in the center of the country. All 14 remaining residents went into mandatory two-week lockdown as a group. Two staff members remained with them for the entire period. (Fortunately, the infected individual recovered and returned as soon as conditions allowed.)
Staff introduced a range of activities to occupy the body and mind through at-home exercise, art, discussions, etc. To maintain perspective during such a challenging period, the household began each day by affirming a commitment to “focus on the here and now” only. Both individual and group counseling centered on helping each young woman tap into her internal resources and strengthen trust in others. This enabled the household to work through the uncertainty of the pandemic and come together as a cohesive unit.
After the quarantine was lifted, residents spent a day volunteering and visiting the elderly, delivering Passover food parcels. The holiday was celebrated together, as a group, with a new twist on the traditional blessing that all will gather “Next Year in (a healthy) Jerusalem.”
The young women now identify one another as their “chosen family” and even gave their mentors new the titles of Mother A and Mother N. Said one staff member, “There is a lingering spirit of closeness that cannot be explained. Together, with a positive attitude, our collective isolation made us both individually and collectively stronger.”