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Non-profit helping women, kids in crisis launches new program

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 5:29 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A faith-based non-profit that serves women and children in crisis here in the Tri-State has launched a fellowship program.

In the past, Lydia’s House in Norwood used interns to help with various tasks at their homeless shelter.

During the pandemic, they chose to make some changes and decided a fellowship would serve the non-profit better.

Ebony Pratt is the first-ever fellow through the new Dorothy Day Fellowship Program at Lydia’s House in Norwood. Lydia’s House opened in 2014 to provide housing for women and children in crisis.

“My faith is very important to me, so I was very excited that I get to work in a non-profit that is faith-based,” Pratt says.

Pratt will be responsible for learning all the ins and outs of the non-profit and work with the people staying in the shelter.

“I think the unique thing about this fellowship is that I am going to work closely, one-on-one with the co-director who is training me and mentoring me on how to run a non-profit,” says Pratt.

“We were incredibly impressed with Ebony, especially her references,” explains Lydia’s House Co-Director Mary Ellen Mitchell. “One of the things that stuck out for us was that she is resilient. That she was able to ride waves of an organization, stay calm.”

Pratt just graduated from UNC Greensboro and moved to Cincinnati over the weekend.

She says her own childhood could be a way to connect with the women and children in need.

“I would say just from experience, being raised by a single mom, it’s very important to have a place to go to when you need help when you need resources that you don’t realize are available to you,” says Pratt.

The fellowship will last two years, and Mitchell expects the organization to keep growing.

“We are growing as an organization,” says Mitchell. “In addition to being a shelter, we have eight units of affordable housing. We just bought four more. We are in the process of buying the empty lot next to our shelter. There are growth opportunities, but for us to grow, we have to grow with the right staff.”

The fellowship program has another opening for maternal and family care fellowship. You can find more here.

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