Hands Healing HeArts participants undertake writing, drama, music, sculpture and visual arts projects as vehicles for self-discovery and expression.
After the death of someone close, a griever’s world turns upside down. Waves of emotion, including sadness, loneliness, anger, and yearning can make life feel overwhelming. A sense of disbelief leads some to ask themselves, “How can this be real? How can I go on?”
Helping grievers “go on” is what motivated Jo-Ann Lautman to found OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center 25 years ago.
In the early 1990s, little existed to help grievers, especially young families who were expected to simply bounce back after a death.
Lautman wanted to provide a "home away from home" with the launch of OUR HOUSE in 1993, with the mission to provide the community with grief support services, education, resources, and hope.
25 years later, members of our grief support groups say:
“The friendships that were made and bonds that were formed are priceless gifts. Even in the shadow of all that we lost, we found a path to walk together as we worked through our new normal.”
OUR HOUSE believes that while grief takes many forms, it is a universal experience. It is not a problem to be solved, nor an illness to be cured; it is a process to be lived.
Being with others who are experiencing similar feelings provides comfort and helps grievers move along a path towards hope and healing. Our groups are specific to the age of the griever, length of time since death, and the relationship to the person who died.
In an intimate atmosphere, we build a sense of community and support to share experiences and memories in a nonjudgmental environment. As one of our group members said:
“It’s a club no one wants to join, but when you enter it and understand you’re not the only member, you feel a sense of relief.”
OUR HOUSE offers grief groups for children as young as four years old and for adults of all ages. The groups are in English and Spanish and take place in our West LA, Woodland Hills, Mid-City/Koreatown centers, and in schools and community centers throughout Los Angeles.
We offer three summer grief camp weekends, medical and professional education, and short term on-site grief responses.
We touched the lives of nearly 20,000 people last year. Our hundreds of volunteers, especially volunteer support group leaders, and our thousands of alumni are helping us celebrate our Silver 25th Anniversary, and they say it better than we can:
“OUR HOUSE is a place that respects the dead by honoring the living. What an exceptional place to find in this city of angels...supporting society at our weakest and saddest times. Thank you.”
- story by Michele Prince, CEO of OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center
The OUR HOUSE mission is to provide the community with grief support services, education, resources, and hope. Since 1993, OUR HOUSE has helped thousands of grieving children, teens, and adults as they embark upon their journeys to hope and healing.Learn More
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