Bridge to Wellness Hosts Community Events

NSC News 
“Mamá, tienes que recoger las manzanas así.” [Mom, you have to pick the apples like this.”] One of the children who attended the event at the orchard shows his mother how to pick the apples properly.

The Bridge to Wellness program hosted two community events this past September for clients and their children who reside outside of Philadelphia in some of the surrounding counties. 
This program works alongside an immigration specialist at NSC who provides free legal immigration representation to immigrant women and men and their children who have experienced domestic violence, sexual abuse, and stalking. The immigration specialist refers clients to the Bridge to Wellness program to receive comprehensive case management, information and referral and support services.

Immigrant survivors of domestic violence are faced with any number of barriers that can interfere with their access to supports. Some common obstacles may include: lack of language access, fears of deportation, lack of knowledge about the US legal system, unfamiliarity with domestic service providers, cultural and familial pressures, feelings of social isolation, and issues of economic dependency.

The first community event was held on September 16th at Solebury Orchards in Bucks County and the second event was held on September 23rd at Elmwood Park Zoo in Montgomery County. 

The Bridge to Wellness case manager met clients at these locations where clients got to decide how to use this time together. For many, this was an opportunity to get to meet other people who have also undergone experiences of violence and have an understanding of the obstacles that immigrant survivors face on their journeys. Alongside the case manager, clients and their children participated in activities that focused on sharing and developing coping strategies.
Because not all of the clients in attendance have been able to talk with the case manager in person due to the financial and time constraints that exist in traveling to Philadelphia, this was the first time some of the clients had met with the case manager in person. For these clients, this really presented an opportunity to get to know the person behind the voice on the telephone with whom they have been working to address some of their most personal goals in the program.

These trips also gave the parents in the program a chance to have a fun outing with their children without having to be concerned about the expenses of entry fees. For some of the children, it was their first time going on a hayride to go apple picking and for others it was the first time they got to see giraffes. At the end of the day, all of the children in attendance were given free backpacks to bring to school with them. 

The Bridge to Wellness program continues to find ways to provide more programming for clients who reside in the surrounding counties.