Shelter opening for single homeless women - KCTV5

Shelter opening for single homeless women

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A new Kansas City Rescue Mission Women's Shelter is opening, and it will focus on single women who are homeless.

The shelter at 11th Street and Troost Avenue will also accept women with mental illness. The ribbon has been cut on the shelter, but it can't open until they get sod. Those responsible for the shelter are hoping someone will donate 2,200 feet of sod.

Joe Colaizzi, executive director for the shelter, said more than 2,000 calls are made annually to a hotline for homeless women. Those calls were made by nearly 600 women. But there were only 26 beds to accommodate them.

He said his faith led him to open the shelter.

"The Lord tapped me on the shoulder and said, 'How many different ways and times do I have to tell you that I want to set up this women's shelter?'" he said. "At that point, I started to embrace the idea, and it just began to take off."

The shelter is staffed by certified mental health counselors.

About 40 percent of the employees at the shelter were once addicts or prostitutes. They are now getting their master's degrees and helping other women recover.

Carolina Germann, a part-time administrative assistant, admits she was a prostitute with no place to go, often beat up and lacking basics like food and clothing. Now she has a daughter and her own home.

Germann said her past strengthens her compassion for those seeking help.

"I know where she's at, at that point and time. And there's got to be something whether it's guilt or shame or hurt or financial reasons or drug addiction that's holding her there, so just supporting her and letting her know that no matter what, where you are at your point in life, I'll be there," she said.

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