Open House for New Healing Center

A house became a home on March 7 at an open house ceremony for Frieda's Healing Center in Spokane, Wash. The center serves women who need a place to heal, regroup and renew their emotional health following domestic abuse. It was established through the leadership of Mable Dunbar, Family Life educator and Upper Columbia Conference women's ministries director.

While gathered at the open house, many attendees recounted the ways God intervened to make this center a reality. Bob Folkenberg Jr., UCC president, held a prayer of dedication and said he supports the work Dunbar is doing through the Women's Healing and Empowerment Network and wants to do what he can to keep it strong.

"Who would've thought 30 years ago that we'd be here together at Frieda's Healing Center," recounts Linda Schultz, WHE board chair. Schultz and Dunbar were next-door neighbors when their husbands attended the ministerial seminary at Andrews University. And now they both live and work in the Spokane area in counseling and healing ministries.

Healing is what the WHE Network is all about, providing healing and empowerment to those who have been abused. Currently the network has three centers for domestic abuse prevention: Patty's, Ellen's and Frieda's healing centers. For more information regarding the WHE Network see the box on the left.

The WHE Network also educates the whole church by offering volunteer training, education about abuse prevention and recovery programs, and crisis counseling. Each year they conduct the national "Being There" conference that provides a healing experience for men, women and young adults who have been abused, are abusive or are caregivers for individuals dealing with abuse issues.

The WHE Network (formerly Polly's Place Network International Ministries) was founded in June 2003 by Dunbar as a response to the growing need for programs and services to address the issues of domestic violence and sexual abuse in the faith community.