Friday, October 9, 2009

"I just listened."


As you know, on Wednesday I attended The Women's Fund Blogging Against Violence event at NBC-13. Scroll down to yesterday's post to see more. As I promised, I am featuring some of the interviews I had with the many attendees.

Today meet Jean Newsome. Jean, an RN, has written and self published a book titled Homeless Hearts. It all started when Jean's son was diagnosed with cancer. She shared with me the shock, the fear, the worry, the emotional roller coaster. In her words, she walked the floor and finally felt like she would burst if she didn't do something! Thinking that helping others might be theraputic, she found herself at Pathways Women's Shelter here in Birmingham. As she volunteered more time, she found herself sitting and just listening over a cup of coffee with the residents. They poured their hearts and their stories out to her. That's when she realized there was a story to tell, and she must be the one to do it. Amazingly, when she started seriously collecting the stories, most of the women didn't seek anonymity, rather they wanted their names used and their stories told! Out of 22 interviews she chose 12 that most represented the variety of circumstances that put these women out on the streets of OUR city. Why did you write this book I asked? Her reply was, " To heighten awareness about the consequences of domestic violence." Indeed I heard that all afternoon, women often stay in abusive situations , because they can't financially afford to leave, or they are afraid for their safety and that of their children if they dare leave. I'm thinking Homeless Hearts is a book we ALL need to read.

I am personally looking forward to perhaps collaborating with Jean on a project in the future.
For information on purchasing Homeless Hearts please go to: homeless hearts@gmail.com
A portion of the proceeds will go to local charities for homeless women and children.

10 comments:

Bibi said...

This is a lovely post. As someone who shares (actually, I hope 'shared') similar health issues, I understand her need to do what she did.

Thérèse said...

A cause so often ignored. So much can happen between four walls...
Awareness is key. Great posts Virginia.

Daryl said...

Thank you for this, awareness is important and so is volunteering .. its a win win

altadenahiker said...

Someone well worth knowing.

Most adults who regularly deliver and accept violence, grew up in abusive households. It takes an heroic effort to break away from something so familiar.

"Cycle of violence" may be a cliche, but that doesn't make it any less true.

Great series Virg.

Laurie said...

This is a fantastic series. Ditto what the Hiker said.

Jilly said...

This is such a heartfelt series. I love her portrait - one marvellous lady.

Jacob said...

Terrific portrait...one can see the empathy and care in her face!

2views2day said...

You are awesome! Thanks for the post and the spotlight on such an important issue. You are the best V =)

Blognote said...

What a great portrait of this wonderful woman you made there, Virginia, and thank you for sharing this moment with us. We most all be aware that most of the abusive situations take place within the domestic walls and that these women as well as thei children need help as much as possible.

Julie said...

I really appreciate a subject who looks straight into the lens. Takes great courage and those who manange it are those without tickets on themselves.

Brava to the subject and to the photographer!