Baptist Friendship House
Based in New Orleans, Louisiana, Baptist Friendship House works to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the homeless, human trafficking survivors, and those living in poverty. As a national WMU Christian Women’s Job Corps (CWJC) site, Baptist Friendship House offers job readiness training, Bible study, classes in computer skills, ESL, literacy, and life skills and tutoring for women obtaining their high school equivalency diplomas. The ministry celebrated its 75th anniversary this past year.
Dr. Kay Bennett, executive director of Baptist Friendship House, said “Our mission statement simply states, ‘Meeting needs through love, action and truth.’ We do that by basically walking alongside others and doing life with them. It is in meeting people’s basic physical and emotional needs that opens the door for us to minister to the greatest need of all, which is the spiritual need so that a life-changing relationship can begin with Jesus Christ.”
At Baptist Friendship House, women learn how to create pottery as a form of therapy. This new skill allows the female artisans to make a dignified, living wage and rebuild their lives in a safe, nonjudgmental environment. This year, you can shop their three beautiful handcrafted ornaments for your Christmas tree, wall, or magnet board: the Freedom Dove, the Friendship Cross, and the Grace Cross. Each piece has the initials of the artisan who created it on the back.
FBI director Christopher Way recently awarded Baptist Friendship House the distinguished Director’s Community Leadership Award for its incessant work in fighting human trafficking. Bennett accepted the award at FBI headquarters in Washington, DC, on behalf of the ministry. Eric Rommal, FBI New Orleans special agent, commented, “Their staff continues to serve the shelter with compassion, dedication, and professionalism.”
The Baptist Friendship House is a featured artisan group in the WorldCrafts Support Freedom Campaign and partner of the National Human Trafficking Hotline providing transitional housing for homeless women and children, emergency food assistance, clothing, and hygiene items. For more information, visit worldcrafts.org/artisans/baptist-friendship-house.