Junior Plunge Experience with The Lotus House, Non-Profit Organization in Overtown, Miami


Mia Michele Aviles, Assistant Editor

Junior Plunge is generally a day where juniors take a day to help hands-on in the community. This year, the pandemic changed how it was done, but it continued to serve as a day to learn more about the needy in Miami.

At Junior Plunge 2020, students were educated on the poverty and homeless cycles, and how hard it is to break out of them due to generation upon generation facing the same obstacles and disadvantages in their lives.

More specifically with the Lotus House’s Victoria Varela, Director of Community Outreach, the students looked into the problem at the level of the local community, and how one organization is providing sanctuary and support to women and children affected by these issues in Miami.

The Lotus House is an non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of homeless women, youth, and children and is located in the heart of Overtown, Miami. It uses an “innovative, trauma-informed, holistic format” in order to provide multifaceted solutions and supportive services, including medical and mental health care, job readiness training, life skills, and educational advancement.

In 2020, the Lotus House is home to over 500 women and children daily, and over 1000 annually. Utilizing evidence based solutions to break the cycle of childhood abuse, domestic violence and homelessness, they truly change lives for the better and work not just for temporary relief, but help the women to eventually support themselves in their own living spaces.

Mrs. Bruno, the Service Learning Director, passionately supports the Louts House.

“I heard about Lotus House many years ago and finally got connected with them through Ms. Elizabeth Galvez from Institutional Advancement last year,” she said.

Mrs. Bruno spoke about how a group of our students attended the Lotus House as their Plunge site last year, and were able to complete a tough and lengthy project in only four hours. Speaking on the presentation she said, “It changed my life… the way Lotus House takes care of their residents with such dignity, respect, love and focus on healing the whole person I knew this was a non-profit I wanted to be a part of and highlight to my students.”

She finds it important for us to note that we can relate to the residents of the Lotus House on a basic human level, but even more so women to women, and we have to answer the call to help our sisters in any and every way possible.

For more information about the Lotus House, you can contact them at:
General Information- 305.438.0556
Volunteering- Margo Hannah, Programming Director
[email protected]
Donations- Beatrice Gonzalez, Community Outreach Director
[email protected]