Yvette Lowery talks what Women’s History Month means for her organization
Connect Us Ministry was founded in 2009 to help women transfer back into the community after facing domestic violence or incarceration. Yvette knew this organization that started as a church project needed to become a full-fledged operation. This included securing clothing, housing, employment, and most importantly, in her opinion, food.
Yvette says, “Food is a basic need. I have a background in nursing, so I care a lot about foundational needs. You have to have those basic needs before you focus on anything else. You have to have food to live.”
Yvette’s ministry is informed by her own history, and lived experience. Being formerly homeless, Yvette knows there is often a gap between government assistance. Yvette knows this because she had fallen into that gap – making too much to qualify for SNAP benefits, but not enough to afford all of her bills, rent, food, and other necessary needs. This put a massive strain on her life, and her daughter who she was caring for. She now seeks to close that gap for the women she helps.
“For me, that’s how it was, so I wanted to help those people caught in between.”
Everywhere she looked, Yvette saw women who were struggling like her, but she didn’t see an organization that could support these women through their struggles. Throughout history, Yvette thinks, women have lacked a strong foundational community of support, which has resulted in circumstances her clients find themselves in. She credits her ability to be resilient no matter how difficult the road ahead appears due to her personal history of having a strong community of women in her family.
Yvette has women she has mentored through their recovery who are now in the medical field and doing social work. Her program is a resounding success in creating a community for women to rebuild their lives how they see fit.
When it comes to women’s history, though, Yvette also likes to think in terms of creating history. That resilient community she views as necessary to create a better tomorrow starts today, and it starts with organizations Connect Us Ministries. In a sense, Yvette is creating a new history and a brighter tomorrow.
It is organizations like Yvette’s that make our work at Second Harvest possible. We thank Yvette and Connect Us Ministries for all they do to empower women in Middle and West Tennessee.