A Life Transformed - Everyday Hero Melissa Greene
Melissa Greene, a former client arrested 23 times, remembers attending her first class 8 years ago.
" I would have done anything to get out of my pod and out of my head. Red Tent was and still is the only group offered in Pinellas County Jail, for women who have been sentenced to jail.
When I walked into the room the energy was so different, taking me by surprise. It was calm, quiet, and I remember immediately feeling safe and I knew it in my soul. All the Red Tent women welcomed me, and it was genuine, they made me feel equal as if we entered another world and we were all the same. The Red Tent women made me feel like a woman, a mother, a daughter, whereas society frowned upon me, my family no longer trusted me, and my children missed me.
Red Tent gave me a safe space and held my hand through tough trauma that allowed me to heal. Never feeling like therapy, it just felt like women who cared about me, that wanted to show me how to love myself as they did, and it was a game changer for me. During group we sat in a circle surrounded by beautiful art that was created by the women before me, and we would get our art projects out, mine was sewing because I had never done this a day in my life. We would start working on them and go around the room and check in and share where we were at or struggling with, including the facilitators.
I continued Red Tent groups post release and formed a bond that is unbreakable. I’ve continually seen my therapist through Red Tent, Marti Zeits for 5 years. My healing has continued and turned into wanting to help other women heal.
I have volunteered, because I owed so much of my life change to Red Tent, and took so much for so long, how dare I do not give back! This was my chance to give back while filling my soul with something I am now passionate about.
I now have full custody of my children and am the person they look to for everything and am able to be the reliable, constant love in their life they always deserved. This isn’t about me, and when I realized this, my drive and determination was unstoppable.
I am getting my Namic Peer support certification; through Career Source worked as the Red Tent Administrative Assistant for Programs, and recently took a promotion with PERC as a Case Manager and Group Facilitator also serve as coordinator at the IDEA Exchange. "
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