Women's Shelter Update

Thanks to Joe Pagonakis from WEWS Newsnet5 for highlighting the rough time the women are having at the shelter.  It is ironic that on the night of this report there were 215 women sleeping in the shelter, which is far higher than the 170 beds and the number of meals ordered.  There are far too many women in the building.  There are far too many sleeping on mats on the floor.  There are far too many women stuck with no where to go.  There was a tour of the shelter yesterday by some important people we heard.  The women who spoke yesterday to Joe at Newsnet5 said that there are some really good staff who help the women, but the majority are horrible.  The women said that they do not feel safe.  They hate the food.  They talked about how it took six months of being there before they got a case worker assigned to help with housing. 

All the women voiced their support of a new shelter staff and a new agency coming in to operate the shelter.  60 women signed a petition in support of West Side Catholic Center to oversee the shelter.  There were many women afraid to speak up or who tried to respond to the survey that was shown in the Channel 5 piece but were warned by staff not complete the survey or they would be punished.  The Homeless Coalition supports a new provider operating the shelter.  We have tried to push for a change, but the bottom line is that there is an entrenched staff who are not helping the women move forward.  We need to clean house as a community, and bring in new ideas and new strategies for serving women.


Support letter removed at the request of the author. 

by Brian Davis

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