After Actress and Producer Lorraine Toussaint (TNT’s “Saving Grace”) spent 2-1/2 hours touring the Mini Twelve Step House (Mini House) and attended the Mini House’s First Annual Health and Wellness Faire on Sept. 13 in Los Angeles County’s Public Health Service Planning Area (SPA) 6–the most disadvantaged community in the nation–the role of national spokesperson was a natural fit.
“When we met Ms. Toussaint, the connection with our community was immediate,” said Bobbi Owens, executive director of the Mini House. “She understands the importance of strong female role models for life’s success.” For 37 years, the Mini House, a nonprofit program, has provided shelter and alcohol and drug treatment for women and their families
“The Mini House was the first program of its kind to serve minority women in the state of California,” states Owens who has been with the Mini House for 20 years.
The story of the Mini House’s success caught the attention of Hollywood. “Grey’s Anatomy’s” Chandra Wilson will portray a Mini House alumna, Yvonne, in the Hallmark Channel film, “Accidental Friendship,” to air on Nov. 15, 2008 at 9 p.m. “Mini Twelve Step House is the perfect example of how we are all our sister’s and brother’s keepers,” says Toussaint, one of the producers of the film. “Our Hallmark Channel film, ‘Accidental Friendship,’ beautifully demonstrates this as two women, a LAPD police officer and a homeless woman, come together with each giving something meaningful to the other.”
Toussaint adds, “The Mini House has an important presence in this film and we are grateful for learning about the life-affirming work they do in our community and which the film will now share with the rest of the country.”
Many women (nearly one third of U.S. alcohol abusers), begin using drugs and alcohol to mask the pain of family violence and incest, which results in crippling low self-esteem, a theme found in women served at Mini House.