How We Got Our Name
Sojourn was named after Sojourner Truth, the emancipated slave and feminist, and because the word “sojourn” means “a brief stay,” a time in the journey to rest, replenish, recuperate.
Sojourn’s parent company, OPCC, was founded in 1963 to serve disenfranchised populations in the Ocean Park area on the west side of Los Angeles County, primarily in Santa Monica. Increasingly, members of this population were women who, it turned out, were not homeless but were battered women, sleeping in their cars in the parking lot, because they were afraid to go home. In 1977, Sojourn was founded and our shelter was opened to serve these clients. Sojourn originally had no funding, and all staff were volunteers.
Cultural/Linguistic Competency Policy
We, the staff and volunteers of Sojourn, believe that violence-free communities must be guided by the values of inclusion, respect, and equality. Intolerance and subtler forms of insensitivity or exclusion have no place at an agency which provides services to battered women and their children. Sojourn is committed to promoting inclusive environments that respect and respond to staff’s and clients’ differences. Through partnerships, recruitment efforts, bilingual capacity, publications, training, and advocacy, Sojourn is dedicated to promoting cultural competence in our company policies and every area of service delivery.
Sojourn recognizes that being culturally competent does not mean knowing everything about every culture. It is, instead, respect for difference, eagerness to learn, and a willingness to accept that there are many ways of viewing the world. We believe it essential that the goal of becoming culturally competent does not just rest with individuals but is the responsibility of the entire agency, and must be an ongoing process. We therefore commit to a policy of “mutual adaptation” for responding to diversity in our staff, volunteers, and clients which means everyone welcomes and understands differences and diversity and recognizes that those realities will cause exploration of system and culture changes and may call for adaptation on the part of all to assure an environment that works for everyone. Through these efforts, we enhance our services, foster our own personal and professional development, and advance the safety and self-sufficiency of our clients.