A Place for Women on the Edge
As we enter April with the number of COVID-19 cases still on the rise, I am proud to say that Rosie’s Place remains open as we continue to serve poor and homeless women under extraordinary circumstances.
While so many of us are working right now to adjust to an ever-changing set of challenges, this state of emergency is nothing new for our guests. Confronting and navigating crises–a lost job, an eviction notice, a cut in benefits–is the reality of their daily lives. But now we see a fraying of the very safety net that is expected to protect the overlooked women who turn to us for help.
Many of our guests are elderly and suffering from chronic and complex health conditions, making them the most vulnerable among us. And they know help is in short supply. Places for homeless women to simply wash their hands and use the bathroom have disappeared. Meals and groceries are harder to come by. Health providers and hospitals are overextended already.
For 46 years, Rosie’s Place has worked within a system that has been inadequate to meet the needs of our guests, and it is now on the brink of collapse. This pandemic has exposed critical shortcomings in the existing network of services for poor and homeless individuals. Women who have lived on the edge for years are now are in danger of falling so deeply into the cracks that they may not survive.
Thanks to you, we are able to address our guests’ most essential needs. Our doors are open to homeless women and our connection stays strong with women who are housed but still desperately require assistance. We currently are providing
- a safe place of respite for homeless women,
- sanctuary for the guests in our Overnight Shelter,
- meals and snacks all day long,
- bags of fresh and non-perishable groceries from our Food Pantry,
- an Advocacy hotline to offer support and resources and
- phone check-ins with women at home to ensure their housing is stable and to provide information.
Every day I speak to women who are afraid of what the future holds. They thank us for being a constant in their lives and ask, “Will you be open again tomorrow?” Your generosity allows me to answer, “Yes.” Can we rely on your support so we may remain a lifeline for women on the edge?
As this crisis evolves, we will likely see community resources overwhelmed by an avalanche of women seeking assistance. We will continue to offer them our help while we work to advocate for a better world for our guests. We are glad to have you walk alongside us as we face this challenge together.