Russ Talks about the Empowerment Center

Russ Talks about the Empowerment Center

By Christo­pher Oak Reinier Yeh, it took awhile − lit­tle by lit­tle − all changes come grad­u­al­ly. You keep com­ing in, and one day you think, hey, I’m not depressed, what hap­pened?  I’m not pissed off at the world, what hap­pened? The Empow­er­ment Cen­ter...
Poetry and Healing at the Empowerment Center

Poetry and Healing at the Empowerment Center

By Christo­pher Oak Reinier “The caged bird sings / with a fear­ful trill / of things unknown / but longed for still / and his tune is heard / on the dis­tant hill / for the caged bird / sings of free­dom.” —  Maya Angelou At the WCCS Empow­er­ment Cen­ter,...
Grateful Bob Talks about his Work

Grateful Bob Talks about his Work

By Christo­pher Oak Reinier Grate­ful Bob is a reg­u­lar par­tic­i­pant at the West Coun­ty Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vices Empow­er­ment Cen­ter, a peer-man­aged Cen­ter for indi­vid­u­als who are try­ing to heal from a his­to­ry of men­tal and behav­ioral problems. I’m on a...
At the Empowerment Center

At the Empowerment Center

By Christo­pher Oak Reinier The WCCS Empow­er­ment Cen­ter is a peer-man­aged cen­ter pro­vid­ing a place for indi­vid­u­als with a his­to­ry of behav­ioral issues to find food, friend­ship, and fam­i­ly-like care. The Cen­ter offers mem­bers the use of phone,...
A New Year at the Empowerment Center

A New Year at the Empowerment Center

By Christo­pher Oak Reinier   Agen­cies like West Coun­ty Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vices have what might be called an Agency’s New Year. It’s the begin­ning of the new Fis­cal Year, when old bud­gets scratch their beards and turn away and new bud­gets with...
A Garden Grows at the Empowerment Center

A Garden Grows at the Empowerment Center

Cyn­thia in the garden By Christo­pher Oak Reinier Parse­ly, Sage, Rose­mary and… Toma­toes… And spinach, and let­tuce.  And the del­i­ca­cies go from gar­den to the savory lunch­es being served at the Empow­er­ment Center. The gar­den­ers and the cooks...
At the Empowerment Center, Miller Phoenix:  Artist, Chef, Clown, Friend

At the Empowerment Center, Miller Phoenix: Artist, Chef, Clown, Friend

By Christo­pher Oak Reinier “I make art when I can’t gath­er the words to say.” Nik­ki Row “Art can per­me­ate the very deep­est part of us, where no words exist.” Eileen Miller “At the deep­est lev­el, the cre­ative process and the heal­ing process arise from a...
It’s Happening at the Empowerment Center in April

It’s Happening at the Empowerment Center in April

April at the Empow­er­ment Cen­ter (Click to Read Calendar) Tues­days: Yoga with Bird­woman, Herbs with Adria and Veg­e­tar­i­an Cook­ing Class, Prep for Radio Show Wednes­days: PTS Sup­port Group, Record OEH Radio, Mem­bers’ Meet­ing on the 19th...
Valerie Belote, Peer One at the Empowerment Center

Valerie Belote, Peer One at the Empowerment Center

By Christo­pher Oak Reinier Valerie Belote had just come from a meet­ing of the Mem­ber Advi­so­ry Coun­cil when I sat down with her at a table in the sun, the glo­ri­ous sun, in the yard out­side the Empow­er­ment Cen­ter. The Coun­cil mem­bers are restruc­tur­ing...
Adria, Program Assistant and Host at the Empowerment Center

Adria, Program Assistant and Host at the Empowerment Center

By Christo­pher Oak Reinier Adria Four­nel, Pro­gram Assis­tant at the WCCS Empow­er­ment Cen­ter, grew up by the Russ­ian Riv­er, grew through a dif­fi­cult child­hood, com­pli­cat­ed by a con­gen­i­tal prob­lem with her knees, mak­ing it nec­es­sary for her to use...
Social Isolation, A Hidden Epidemic

Social Isolation, A Hidden Epidemic

(Pic­ture cred­it: Damon Winter/The New York Times, Arti­cle from THE NEW YORK TIMES) Human Touch — How Social Iso­la­tion Is Killing Us by Dhruv Khullar DEC. 22, 2016 Social iso­la­tion is a grow­ing epi­dem­ic, one that’s increas­ing­ly rec­og­nized as...
A Brief Description of What Is Happening at the Empowerment Center

A Brief Description of What Is Happening at the Empowerment Center

Man­aged by peers who have lived the life, the ups and the downs of emo­tion­al chal­lenges, the Empow­er­ment Cen­ter offers pro­grams and activ­i­ties through which its mem­bers and drop-in vis­i­tors gain com­pan­ion­ship, guid­ance, and sup­port in their dai­ly...
At the Empowerment Center

At the Empowerment Center

Ted Fox, the great home­less advo­cate, has passed away. The bridge is closed to cars, But there many inter­est­ing and help­ful activ­i­ties in the works at the Empow­er­ment Cen­ter this Octo­ber. You can read the news and a cal­en­dar of October’s activ­i­ties in...