Celebrating Women: Women and Homelessness

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Traditionally, men have made up the majority of the homeless population. But recent studies show women represent more than 40 percent of homeless Americans.

Today, centers across the country are evolving and becoming better equipped to help women get back on their feet.

For decades women stayed in situations that may have been unhealthy for them or they were afraid to go out on their own.  But with this new empowerment comes a rising number of women seeking the help of homeless shelters and trying to forge a better future.

One woman, Tracy, is now enjoying the simple comforts of home,      but it was a long and hard road to get there.  The hardest part she said was watching her kids watch her struggle.

As it turns out, Tracy is part of a larger shelter story, part of the hidden side of homelessness, according to recent studies and from data from the U.S.  Department of Housing and Urban Development women often exhaust every other option they can before they will stay in a shelter or transitional housing.

Nationally the number of individuals who are homeless is around a half million and women represent about 40 percent of that. 

The chronic homeless tend to be more men.  So if you are a woman, not part of a family, not a vet, or not chronically homeless there are not a lot of resources for you to get out of homelessness.

Agencies across the country have recognized that gap and the shelter system is trying to evolve to keep up with the changing demographics.

Fundraisers such as “Women Helping Women” event have raised more than $1 million to help fund a new women’s on the chronic homeless tend to be more men.. so if you are a woman, not part of a family, not a vet, or not chronically homeless there are not a lot of resources for you to get out of homelessness.
family shelter, and women’s education training. influential women from the community have been coming together for more than 10 years to raise money and awareness.

Family shelter and women’s education training, and influential women from the community have been coming together for more than 10 years to raise money and awareness.

Tracy credits several staff members at area shelters with really working with her to make sure she was securing a solid future for her growing family.

The leading causes of homelessness also continue to evolve.  Lack of affordable housing, mental illness, addiction, domestic violence, and even the wage gap are all cited as some of the reasons women need shelters, but more of these female-centered shelters are helping women feel safe and secure and minimize the negative stigma associated with homelessness. 

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