The rain did not stop us from hosting our Pinic In the Park for twenty homeless women from the Woods Mullen Shelter. Instead, our Founder and seven volunteers from International Nannies gathered inside the shelter to enjoy delicious bites, played games and had a roundtable discussion about the challenges that these ladies faced each day and what gives them hope.
"Living in the shelter is very hard" expressed one of the ladies. "I thought since we are all women we would be able to get along and support each other to get out of here, but instead you always have to be avoiding a fight or a conflict with the ladies."
Most of the women present have been living in the shelter for at least three months and the sign of getting an apartment looks very hopeless for them. Some of those who have vouchers to get subsidized housing are afraid that their voucher will expire before they can get an apartment, because they are generally don't qualify for an apartment due to their credit worthiness.
As we lead the ladies in a discussion about life after the shelter they did not hesitate to acknowledge some of the things that they are grateful for at the present moment. "I never thought I would be so appreciative of the little things as much as I do today. The fact that I am able to sit here today and enjoy some fresh fruits it means that there is hope ahead."
"I believe that every day that I am alive I have hope. I thank God for blessing me with angels like you guys who take time out of your schedule to sit and talk with us. This day gives me hope! I know that with people like you helping us tomorrow will be better."
The afternoon discussion ended with a word of encouragement from Tanisha Salmon and Agnes Nanasi. Each of the ladies received a gift bag with sanitary napkins, deordarant, body wash, toothpaste and toothbrush. They were very thankful and appreciative of our efforts to bring them comfort and the basic items that they need to maintain their dignity.