Introducing Healing House 2.0
Jun 05, 2018 11:35AM
● By Scott Brazda
“The new Healing House is 6,600 square feet, and the entire property is about two-and-a-half acres.”
But the new and improved Healing House is about way more than just a building and expanded property, says Executive Director Jenee Broussard; it’s about what that property will do for the many children who have lost loved ones. “We will be able to do so much more: more groups, more clients, more services… and all of it aimed at helping children realize that when someone close to them dies, they do have someone to turn to, and that they are not alone.”
The design of this new building—officially called Randon’s Place at Healing House—is not just the brainchild of Broussard and her Healing House staff and board members. “Electric fireplaces, couches, large TVs in meeting rooms, there are things our families and clients asked for,” says Broussard. “The kids, our families, and our volunteers, kind of put together a list of all of the things they thought Healing House should have.” The added space will allow Healing House and its volunteers to work with more than the double the current number of clients.
As with the current facility on Lee Avenue in Lafayette, the new building on Lafayette’s Beadle Road will have larger rooms with different themes and purposes and rooms that will allow the children to express their grief in ways that are best for them. “We’ll have a bigger Hideaway Cave, with bookshelves and softer lighting, kind of a ‘time out’ place if someone needs a break from the other kids in the group or if they’re having a rough time,” adds Healing House Administrator Kim Thackston.
And what would Healing House be without my favorite, The Hurricane Room? “Just like in the old house, there will be bean bag chairs, the punching bag, and a concrete board at which kids can throw playdoh. For those who need that physical release, our Hurricane Room is the perfect place.”
But then, there’s the exterior element, the great outdoors, the… playground! “We didn’t have any outdoor space,” explains Thackston. “But now, they will have a safe place to run, and if after being at school all day long, they just want to come and sit on the porch, sit in the rocking chairs we’ll have here and relax, they can do that, too.” No doubt the outdoor meditation garden will assist in that area as well.
Ribbon-cutting of the new Healing House will take place in late July or early August, and Thackston says fall sessions will indeed take place in that building. “The whole design of this building is about being here for the next 20 years. We have so much flexibility here, all for our children and their families.”
To learn more about the Healing House visit www.healing-house.org