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Nonprofit grows from Lighthouse volunteerism

Elena Rosas got involved with the Lighthouse six years ago.

Elena Rosas got involved with the Lighthouse six years ago.

HER Life Journey continues to bless women

While Elena Rosas, a successful hairstylist in Ventura County, was thriving in her industry and growing her business, she remained unfulfilled, and began praying to God to reveal her true purpose. She wanted to find ways to use the talent and gifts the Lord had given her, and the connections she had in the beauty industry, to give back to her community. After an online search for women’s organizations, Elena was drawn to the Lighthouse.

Elena began to meet one-on-one with a Lighthouse Transitional Living Program resident, taking her out for coffee and listening to her story. Conversations over coffee eventually evolved into complimentary trips to Elena’s salon, where beauty services such as hair and make-up were paired with fellowship and prayer. As Elena began to engage with more women, a non-profit, HER Life Journey, was born.

“The more that I listened, the more I was moved by their faith,” said Elena of the women she talked with. “I was moved that (with) everything they’ve been through in life, their faith is still strong. I desired to be around that so much.”

The Lighthouse helped Elena discover her purpose, engaging with women transitioning out of homelessness or recovery programs. “We have peer services, transformative beauty services, sisterly support and the Gospel,” she said. “We want to help build self-worth and independence for women experiencing homelessness, domestic violence, and addiction.”

Lighthouse Volunteer Coordinator Toshiba Allen added: “The transformation the women go through, both internally and externally, is a joy to witness. You watch them grow confidence in themselves, and in God.”

Elena and her sister-in-Christ, Erica, “an amazing Godly woman,” have been partnering with the Lighthouse for almost six years. In fact, the very first seminar HER Life Journey ever conducted was in the Lighthouse cafeteria! It’s an experience Elena hasn’t forgotten.

“It was right as Covid hit, but the amount of sponsorship that came through was unbelievable, from local businesses to multi-million-dollar corporations in the beauty industry. It was truly amazing.”

It’s evident the vision the Holy Spirit created at the Lighthouse has evolved. HER Life Journey now puts on yearly seminars, inviting the Lighthouse, as well as other women’s organizations, and they’ve recently begun to connect clients with jobs at local businesses. But it doesn’t stop there.

“They donated two cars to two of our residents in need. We were amazed… and in shock,” Toshiba laughed.

“It’s so awesome what God can do,” Elena said. “A car was donated to the organization, and an automotive shop donated the labor needed to fix it. We were able to give the car away. Then another car came in and we were able to do it again! We just want to bless others.

“Everything was built right there at the Lighthouse. It’s where the Lord saw an even bigger picture than I did. I’m so grateful. I love the women there. I’m super excited for what the Lord has planned for us all, so we can reach more women and share the Good News with them.”

Toshiba agreed. “We have the same goals. We all just want to encourage women and help them rebuild their lives with the Lord. He has great plans for them.”

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