Several years ago, JUST Listening Evansville animator and facilitator Maryann Joyce and Sharon Browning met at a conference. In the ensuing years, Maryann, a spiritual mentor and faith formation leader, pursued her dream of a Listening project in Evansville, Indiana. Her efforts lead to a successful listening workshop lead by Sharon for twenty five people in November 2016, and so, JUST Listening, Evansville was officially launched. Under Maryann´s inspired and enthusiastic leadership, JUST Listening, Evansville has a core group of six volunteers listening at two locations.
The first site is the Jack Henry Gates Memorial Laundromat, a free laundromat that sits in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. Here, Listeners come in the spirit of equality and mutuality. Bringing their own laundry to wash, they engage in compassionate conversation with others who come to do laundry.
“The laundromat usually serve 50 people a day – so it can be a noisy, busy place, but I have been surprised and grateful at the depth of conversation and care expressed by all parties present”, Maryann reports. “We have spoken to Veterans, mothers, elderly and ill neighbors, and young people facing eviction.”
The Evansville group began listening at a second location in February – in the food pantry of Patchwork Central, an inner city ministry where many suffering from mental illness stop in for coffee, a safe space to hang out, and now, a Listening ear.
Maryann looks forward to training more people in Evansville to become compassionate listeners wherever they live, work and play. For more information, contact Maryann Joyce at firstname.lastname@example.org