I have a deep appreciation of the spring season. Spring represents transformation and is a reminder of how beautiful change can be. Outside of providing shelter to women, and women with children, who are experiencing homelessness, Bethany House is innovative in the realm of services we provide to our guests. The mission of the programs we offer and the staff we employ is to provide guests access to resources which will result in their transformation towards stability. We have the most amazing staff, volunteers, and board members that I get to work with every day. But every once in a while, I get to connect and work with someone who is absolutely extraordinary in inspiring transformation and Linda Lassiter is one of those people.
Linda is a committed Licensed Clinical Social Worker, who has compassionately served others for more than 50 years in both nonprofit and public sector agencies. Throughout her career she has helped people to heal, those from all walks of life, who have been impacted by poverty, domestic violence, human trafficking, intergenerational trauma, racism, abuse and homelessness.
In addition to being an extraordinary social worker, Linda is also an amazing advocate. She is always looking out for that person who has been overlooked by others and ensures that they get the care, services or support that they need. Her commitment to advocacy has also led her to open many doors for those who would follow her. Linda was one of the first women of color certified as an HIV/AIDS Counselor in Nassau County, and she served on the Nassau County HIV/AIDS Commission. She was instrumental in launching the first Youth HIV/AIDS Conference on Long Island, drawing 225 young people to the conference. The Economic Opportunity Commission of Nassau County, Inc. recognized Linda’s work and advocacy when they presented her with the ‘Phenomenal Woman of the Year” award.
For over 15 years, Linda has served the women, and women with children, experiencing homelessness who turn to Bethany House in their time of need. She initially came to Bethany House to cook meals for our guests on the weekends while she was still working full time as a clinical social worker. And cook she did! She cooked like it was Thanksgiving every Sunday. No one skipped a meal when Linda cooked. The meals that Linda lovingly prepared were more than an opportunity to eat; they were a chance to gather, talk . . . a time to heal.
When Linda retired from her full-time work with emotionally challenged young people and their families, she joined the Bethany House staff. At Bethany House Linda began supervising, developing and supporting Bethany House staff, volunteers and student interns. She now serves as our Director of Social Services. She is our most trusted advisor. She is deeply appreciated and loved by each and every Bethany House staff member, intern and volunteer. Linda exudes love, joy, compassion and appreciation.
It was my distinct honor and privilege to present the Bethany House Person of Compassion Award to Linda Lassiter at this year’s 19th Annual Fashion Show Fundraiser.
Linda ends every staff and committee meeting she attends at Bethany House the same way. She simply smiles and warmly states, “Thanks for all you do.”
Now it’s our turn to say to Linda, “Thanks for all you do!”
From our home to yours,