Two weeks ago the group of women living in the House of Payne practiced the ground breaking with their shovels and hard hats. This last week they practiced the ribbon cutting with the introduction of a brand new shelter to better serve the population. They have talked about shelters that will have better trained staff to serve those with specific needs such as mentally ill or addicted individuals who use the shelter. They talked about the need for a smaller place for women who lost everything (families, jobs, health care, housing, friends, etc.). Here is the speech that Ramona prepared for the introduction of a new shelter:
I am very happy about this opening. It has been a long time coming. To further address the problems in regard to homelessness, I think we should follow the example that Vancouver, British Columbia set in their efforts to address homelessness. They have 5 city benches that transform into temporary shelters and they have shelters that address individual needs for the men, women, and gay communities.
This shelter is very necessary because it will allow women that are pregnant and become homeless to be able to care for her newborn once she delivers. At this point with the shelters that are in place, when she goes into labor she is transported to a hospital, she has the baby, and must allow someone else to care for her newborn child. The newborns are cared for at the Providence House and the mother can see her child daily. But, if she doesn’t secure housing within a certain amount of time, the child is placed in foster care. We, as women, really need and deserve a safety net, yet we get the least amount of consideration. That is why I am thankful to have this shelter.
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