EFry treats everyone with dignity. It sounds logical enough. For those of us who haven’t come from abusive backgrounds and aren’t struggling with addiction, living in poverty or incarcerated, we take dignity for granted. Of course people will treat us with respect. Of course we matter. Of course we are worthy of someone else’s time.
For so many of the women we encounter, there is no of course. Their life circumstances have beaten them down so hard and so far, nowhere feels safe. Worse, they have become so used to being treated badly, they convince themselves it’s what they deserve, or at least what they must tolerate.
At EFry, we’re in the business of supporting women in rebuilding their lives. Often, the first step is helping them realize they’re worth it.
How Women Stop Believing They’re Worthy
Otherness: Marginalization and struggle mark people, either by heightening emotions or deadening them. Women can be angry about what others have or be without hope of ever improving their own situation. In either case, our role at EFry is the same. We help women take stock of their lives, make plans for the future and access the resources they need.
Poverty: The vast majority of our clients are’t just low income, they are abjectly poor and live on less money than 97 per cent of the Canadian population. When we first meet them, they are unable to afford housing, clothing, even food. Because of mental illness or addiction, some aren’t allowed to connect directly with government offices to get welfare. EFry helps those folks access basic Canadian entitlements like social assistance and necessary healthcare. Each year, we help thousands of women (and their children) in acute need to be safe, fed, and sheltered.
Addiction: Drugs and trauma go hand in hand. To truly make a positive difference, we help women access treatment, stabilization and recovery. We enable them have their children stay with them while they pursue recovery, which improves outcomes for all. We have seen more inspirational recovery stories that we can count – and we’ll be sharing some of those with you in the near future.
Incarceration: Few things meet with more public distain than crime. How many of us were taught people in prison are ‘bad’ or heard someone say things like ‘lock ’em up and throw away the key’? We know firsthand good people can make poor choices – and with support, they can go on to a lifetime of great choices that benefit themselves and our community.
Dignity is More Than Just a Word
At EFry, we don’t judge. We help.
Dignity is a simple concept yet important enough it is the first word we chose when summarizing our commitment to our clients with the social media hashtag #DignityEqualityOpportunity.
Share Your Thoughts on Dignity & Win a Signed Copy of Orange is the New Black
Between now and March 31, share your thoughts about Dignity, Equality or Opportunity on Facebook for a chance to win a copy of Piper Kerman’s memoir Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison. One winner will be randomly drawn. One entry per person.
Facebook: First, Like our contest post on our EFryVancouver page. Second, comment or post why you think Dignity, Equality or Opportunity are important. Please use our #DignityEqualityOpportunity hashtag.