Keeler Women's Center

 Keeler Women Center Wins Award from Jewish Vocational Service

13 November 2012

Sr. Carol Ann and Sr. Esther, staff from the Keeler Center, visited JVS  (Jewish Vocational Service) staff in the Winter of 2011 to discuss potential partnerships. In April of 2011, The Keeler Center signed a letter of support with the Social Integration Program to provide JVS referrals with free therapeutic services; primary referrals to the Keeler Center are victims of torture.  

The Keeler Center provides a wide range of unique and creative services to women. All services provided by the Keeler Center are free of charge. These services include, but are not limited to monthly book clubs, knitting groups, writing groups, ESL, parenting classes, counseling, and assistance with job search. Since our first meeting The Keeler Center has encouraged JVS staff to refer any client, regardless of income or zip code, who may benefit from services. Not only have they encouraged JVS clients to participate in services they have also invited JVS staff to enjoy services, such as massage therapy.

Keeler Center staff is well-trained in trauma informed care and have a genuine compassion for helping individuals of all races, socio-economic backgrounds and religions. Through our collaboration with the Keeler Center we have made several counseling referrals for clients who have experienced torture and/or trauma. The Keeler Center has consistently gone above and beyond to ensure these clients have language access and become connected to appropriate services. 

Several JVS clients have taken advantage of the knitting and writing groups, which empowered one client to discuss with her social worker the value of a knitting group at JVS. This client inspired the Social Integration Program to create a women’s knitting group at JVS, which now meets weekly on Thursdays. When one client was unable to attend knitting classes due to scheduling conflicts, the staff at the Keeler Center gathered knitting supplies which they sent to the client so she could knit at home.

One JVS client, struggling with anxiety and depression, reported feeling happier and more relaxed after attending a free massage session at the Keeler Center. Another, who attends the writing groups shares that she feels she is a part of something and encouraged by the other women who attend the group.

Partnering with the Keeler Women’s Center has proven to be a successful endeavor. Due to their commitment to provide competent services to individuals of all cultural backgrounds and their desire to strengthen the well-being of individual and families, the Social Integration Program proudly award the Keeler Women’s Center with the JVS Community Partnership Award.

 KWC JVS award

Pictured from left to right:
Tara Atkinson, MSW, JVS staff member who nominated Keeler for the award
S. Barbara Schrader, advisory board member
Linda Barker, volunteer tutor
Carol Gorman, volunteer tutor
S. Bridget Dickason, Associate Director
S. Patricia Seipel, friend of Keeler
S. Carol Ann Petersen, Director of Keeler Women's Center
S. Esther Fangman, therapist for survivors of torture and war
Brenna Sandefur, MSW, staff member at JVS