Chandra Brown of Lifelines Mobile is an Alabama Bright Light in the darkest hours
Original post by Karim Shamsi-Basha on Alabama NewsCenter
Most of us want to be heard. Some of us need to be.
Lifelines Mobile listens and provides help to people facing some of their most difficult times.
“Our mission is to help individuals and families live more productive lives through counseling, assistance referrals and education,” Executive Director Chandra Brown said. “We help people in more vulnerable communities, mostly those with low- to moderate-income households.”
“The Elevate Grant from the Alabama Power Foundation helped us add to our capacity and infrastructure technology plan for Lifelines Mobile,” Brown said.
Lifelines Mobile assists in the Mobile area with a variety of issues, ranging from mental health to crisis programs to the United Way’s 211 help line. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, there has been a spike in calls.
“Our incoming calls in March rose about 230% compared to 2019,” Brown said.
COVID-19 has added to the duties of Brown and her staff. They have dealt with the pandemic in a firm but compassionate way.
“Understanding the COVID-19 pandemic has been a really humbling process. We are doing our best to help people understand more about COVID-19, especially those who were struggling to pay rent,” Brown said. “The crux of what we do is just to be present in the community. To just listen. To just be there.”
Brown and her staff are accommodating the added stress of social unrest on clients.
“When we are training, we tell people that it’s much easier to tell someone what to do than to stand with them in their pain. With our current social climate and the unrest everywhere, I think that’s something we all need right now,” Brown said. “We don’t have all the answers. It’s a powerful thing to say that we don’t have all the answers, but this is what I tell the folks we help: I hear you and I can listen to you.”
Lifelines Mobile’s website says, “Healing is a journey, let the journey begin.” For Brown, this healing is ingrained in her daily work.
“We’ve been in Mobile since 1958. What they saw then was that our community members needed counseling and they needed someone to be there to listen and hear what they had to say,” Brown said. “I think every day this mission humbles me. Outside of all of the social unrest right now, outside of COVID-19, on a regular day we’re dealing with those who are in crisis, those who are contemplating suicide, those who have been sexually assaulted, those who were physically abused. We see people at their lowest point in life. I feel honored to be a community member that people trust with that responsibility.”
Brown does not take that responsibility lightly.
“I feel honored that I work with a group of people who genuinely want to make the world a better place,” she said. “That is the essence of who we are in the community.”
For more information, visit www.lifelinesmobile.org.
Alabama Bright Lights captures the stories, through words, pictures and video, of some of our state’s brightest lights who are working to make Alabama an even better place to live, work and play. Award-winning journalist Karim Shamsi-Basha tells their inspiring stories. Email him comments, as well as suggestions on people to profile, at [email protected].