New women’s shelter opens in Minneapolis
Your donations to The Salvation Army are providing hope for women with no place to turn.
On Dec. 30, The Salvation Army and several partners opened a new 30-bed women’s shelter in Minneapolis. The facility is a safe haven for women experiencing homelessness, and eventually it may help women who become homeless when Minnesota’s eviction moratorium expires.
A guest named Holly (pictured) moved into the shelter the first day it opened.* She had been homeless for several months, grieving the recent death of her adult son.
“It’s quiet here and I feel safe,” Holly said. “The first two nights I got here, I slept for 12 hours straight without waking up. Before then, I hadn’t been sleeping at all.”
Holly had spent her life working as a casino card dealer before she was hit by a car in the early 2000s. Ever since then, she’s had to live off of social security disability payments. Although her income is limited, she has rarely experienced homelessness.
“At this shelter I have my own room, which makes it so much easier to sit down, think, and plan my future,” Holly said. “I feel welcome at The Salvation Army.”
The women’s shelter is an offshoot of The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center in Minneapolis, which currently sleeps several hundred men and women every night. The women’s shelter opened in response to feedback from women experiencing homelessness in Hennepin County who come to shelters in order to escape situations of violence.
“Some of these women expressed that they did not want to be in a shelter where they are co-located with men,” said Trish Thacker, Director of the Harbor Light Center. “The new women’s shelter allows The Salvation Army and our partners to help women in an environment that provides a high level of safety, solitude and service.”
The shelter is located in a building owned by Catholic Charities, and it is staffed almost exclusively by female Salvation Army employees. Hennepin County is funding all employee salaries, the building’s lease, and other operational expenses.
“This shelter is truly a collaborative effort,” Thacker said.
Please join The Salvation Army in serving those affected by the COVID-19 crisis by giving a donation or signing up to volunteer. Your help will provide emergency assistance and hope for people and families in desperate need.
If you are feeling lonely, fearful or hopeless due to the COVID-19 crisis, call our Emotional and Spiritual Care Hotline at 877-220-4195 anytime between 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Central Time. Trained Salvation Army officers, employees and volunteers will be available to talk, listen to you, and pray for you.
*Name changed to protect woman’s identity.