Ramona's Comments to County Council on Women's Shelter

 I’ve been coming to the Council Meetings pouring out my heart to let you know that the conditions at Norma Herr are terrible.  Since I was at the last meeting there has been another suicide attempt and there is a resident that goes there on and off because she doesn’t feel safe. Instead, she will sometimes sleep outside.  She feels she has a better chance of not getting robbed on the street as opposed to inside the shelter and she doesn’t trust the staff.  When she does stay there, she sleeps in the hall close to the officer on duty.  She was recently punched in the face by someone and she still will not stay at the shelter.

 The current provider has been informed repeatedly about numerous problems at the shelter and LMM acts like its rocket science to prepare decent meals for the shelters.  I can’t understand how either of these providers could realistically get the contract to provide services to the women’s shelter instead of the Westside Catholic Center, Metanoia, and NEOCH who have been reaching out to this population for years.  This population also trust all three of these organizations.  The request for a new provider was done as an alternative if Frontline didn’t meet the much needed requests made by the women over a year ago. 

 The Renovations even prove the lack of consideration for the women by the current provider and as an ex-resident of the shelter, the decision to let the current provider continue to provide this unservice is quite disturbing.  I came to reach out to the council one more time to ask them to take the women into consideration first, being this is the only shelter for single women in the entire city and they still don’t even have a television.

by Ramona Turnbull

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