Spirit of Woman
327 West Belmont Avenue, Fresno, CA 93728

Hope and Expectation

for Women and Children
Happy Easter from Spirit of Woman
On Sunday, April 20th, 2014, Spirit of Woman had an Easter extravaganza. Residing women and their children were invited to take pictures with the Easter Bunny, hunt eggs, visit with family, and enjoy a traditional Easter meal. The children were so excited to discover the bounce house that had been put up for the celebration. They spent a lot of time bouncing around, pretending to be the Easter Bunny.

Spirit of Woman would like to thank the Community Food Bank, the Poverello House, Women of Excellence, Paying it Forward, all private community donors, and Spirit of Woman's Board Members, Therapists, and Staff for making Easter such a special occasion. Because of all the donations, we were able to give all residing and visiting children Easter baskets and bring joy to them during the holidays.
Climbing PoeTree Paid Us a Visit

"Climbing PoeTree is the combined force of two boundary-breaking soul-sisters who have sharpened their art as a tool for popular education, community organizing, and personal transformation. Poets, performance artists, print makers, video and graphic designers, muralists, and new media architects, Alixa and Naima create compelling works at the service of their vision for a more just and livable world."

"Climbing PoeTree's award-winning performance is composed of dual-voice spoken word poetry, hip hop, and multi-media theatre that challenges its audiences to remember their humanity, dissolves apathy with hope, exposes injustice, and helps heal our inner trauma so that we may begin to cope with the issues facing our communities."

Over the last 10 years, Climbing PoeTree has performed for thousands of people across the U.S. and abroad from Mexico to the UK, South Africa to Cuba, alongside visionary leaders and artists such as Cornel West, Erykah Badu, Alicia Keys, Angela Davis, Alice Walker, Saul Williams, Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Danny Glover, The Last Poets, and Dead Prez."


Alixa and Naima did a workshop at Fresno City College and a Performance at Fresno State University before they stopped off at Spirit of Woman to speak to the clients that reside with us. Their message was strong, powerful, and empowering.

Staff Testimonial:

"It was truly an amazing experience on many different levels. The woman were so engaged and moved! I am filled with gratitude. I wanted to embrace each and every woman who was crying."

Client Testimonials:
"It was powerful!."
"It brought tears to my eyes! I really enjoyed it!"

To learn more about Climbing PoeTree visit their website:

My Life: Before & After Spirit of Woman
By: Shana Hope Johnston
My name is Shana Hope Johnston. I am 35 years old. At the age of 12 I began drinking and smoking marijuana.  I had my first child at the age of 14. After I had my daughter I was introduced to Methamphetamine. It did not take me long to become addicted. By the time I was 16 I was a heroin addict. I did not care about anything around me. My mother took care of my children and I had no responsibilities. At 18 I went to jail for the first time. Eventually this became a revolving door. By this time I had 3 children.
        Wanting to get my life together, I went to every program available. I always ended up leaving.  I eventually went to prison and that also became a revolving door. My life was in shambles and all I wanted was to get high and not feel anything. I am a product of my environment. My whole family had some sort of drug problem. Heroin and crack cocaine was something that was a normal occurrence in my household. I thought it was normal to use some sort of substance. I never knew it would destroy my life like it did.

      Spirit of Woman came into my life in 2007 when I was facing 6 years in prison. I can remember Vivian coming to get me from Fresno County Jail. That was the beginning of a new start. I was met by loving staff that genuinely wanted the best for me and my children. I was never taught to take care of a home, daily tasks or how to be a mother. Vivian put me into a job right away taking care of linens and welcoming the new girls. For the first time, I had responsibilities. My daughter came to the program in the second week which I had many struggles with. I spent a lot of time in the office of whatever staff was available. Their door was always open. I can also remember crying in Ms. Audrey's office. Of course I was always given wonderful words of wisdom!!   Eventually I learned to be the mother I am today.

      What I liked most about the program was the therapy I received where I could process the feelings of being an inadequate mother, molestation, and rape. I believe that therapy is a very important component of the recovering process. I had never spoken about the molestation or rape until I was in Spirit of Woman. This was definitely the beginning point of my recovery.

      Today I am an intern at Spirit of Woman. I have come back to the very place that changed my life. I am committed to this program because, in my opinion, it is the best.  I want to be part of an organization that truly love the woman and children that come through the doors. In all the programs I have been in, Spirit of Woman was the most welcoming and caring place. There are no words to describe the admiration I have for all the staff at Spirit of Woman. I hope to one day be a part of this wonderful organization. Each day that I am at the program I can remember different steps in my recovery while at the same time I am learning to be of service to others. This has been a wonderful learning experience so far.

Thank you so much for the opportunity of a new life.

Thank You Minarets High!
FEBRUARY 25, 2014:

This month, Minarets High School Basketball Team raised $800 for Spirit of Woman! Bo Campbell and Sam Millar (with help from their mom's: Pam and Debbie) coordinated the game and donations. We are so grateful for their big hearts and hard work!
The money that they donated will be put towards our GED Program.

As some may know, it is very difficult to find a job without a GED or High School Diploma. A majority of our women face financial barriers before and after completing our program. One thing that can boost their chances for economic opportunities is obtaining a GED. Six months ago, Spirit of Woman implemented a GED Preparation Program for our residents. We partnered with Learn2Earn so that after treatment all GED participants will be able to continue their education. This will increase their ability to support themselves and their children.

A big thank you to Bo and Sam, and the Minarets High School Basketball Team! You have touched so many lives with your generosity!

*If you are interested in being a tutor for the GED Program, contact Kristina Espinoza at 559-233-4353 or email her at kristinae@spiritofwomanfresno.org
Mission Statement: Spirit of Woman is a non-profit organization committed to providing a nurturing, safe environment where culturally diverse women can discover their personal identity, values, and belief system.

Spirit of Woman provides a holistic substance abuse program using a family-focused approach to addressing the needs of women and their children through 180-day and 90-day intensive inpatient programs followed by aftercare and transitional housing support. These programs offer each woman the tools necessary to build upon their treatment and recovery at a preventative level promoting long-term sobriety and self-sufficiency.