Who Are the Shelter Women?

After visiting “The Shelter” to volunteer I met some amazing women.  These women have been through a lot in their lives, facing difficult circumstances.  While I see men on street corners asking for help, I rarely see women.

The women staying at “The Shelter” come from different backgrounds, all of them are single and mainly ages 35- 50 and older.  Some of them are physically disabled and some obviously have mental health issues.  Below is what some of these women have shared with me.

  • Someone tried to kill me.  The most difficult living here is are crazy and I’ve never seen anything like this before.
  • I am disabled and my family abused me by pushing me around and plus they lied to me defrauding me.
  • Domestic violence-with verbal, mental, and physical abuse lead me to be homeless.
  • I moved to this area to help my son who is dealing with TBI and PTSD after 2 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Due to his injuries I could not take after six months.  I had nowhere to go after leaving him.
  • Having to file bankruptcy at age 56, I had nowhere else to live.
  • Lack of financial stability at age 53, not having a job and was evicted for my housing.
  • At age 51, my house was foreclosed on and I am disabled.
  • At age 52, I became homeless and have OCD which makes it even more difficult living in a shelter.
  • My daughter-in-law through me out of her home, so at age 58, I became homeless and miss my dear granddaughters.
  • I lost my job, CPS took my 3 children, so without a job and stable housing I have nowhere else to go.

When I asked a couple of the residents if they have anything they want to share with the general public she said the following:

  • “Homelessness can befall anyone who encounters financial disability and misfortune.  There should be more transitional housing for women who are in need of temporary assistance.  There is also a severe mental health crisis occurring in the city of ___, possible due to over medication by doctors.  We need more shade situations for homeless individuals to retreat to in the hot summer months. And more sincere concern.
  • To realize and treat the homeless people better as we each have a different story but most of us are experiencing homelessness because of situations beyond our control such as a loss of job, housing, domestic situations, etc. and a lot due to the economy – Not everyone is a drug addict or alcoholic.  A lot of homeless need help to getting better training to educate themselves to get a job.

Knowing that women are homeless too is important.