Greater New Orleans Foundation: New Orleans Women’s Shelter
Homeless children in New Orleans face sustained trauma including lack of adequate shelter and food, disease, and the threat of physical assault. Vulnerable families currently comprise the greatest share of New Orleans’ growing homeless population. But fortunately for them, there is hope. “The New Orleans Women’s Shelter [NOWS] has helped me in so many ways,” says mother Tasha, NOWS resident. “I came to the shelter in 2011 when I was six months pregnant with my third child. They provided a room for my family, food, security, and support.”
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NolaVie: The Young Faces of Homelessness
By: Renee Peck
Homelessness, says Dawn Bradley-Fletcher, has many faces. And most of the ones she sees every day belong to kids.
As executive director of the New Orleans Women’s Shelter (NOWS), Bradley-Fletcher manages a program that transitions mothers and their children from the streets to self-sufficiency.
Her clients don’t fit the public image of the homeless, which leans toward panhandlers clutching brown bags or the mentally ill.
Those stereotypes, says Jackie Silverman, who founded NOWS after Hurricane Katrina, “are the very tip of the iceberg. We need to educate people that the homeless are not what they picture.”
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New Orleans Women’s Shelter- Employment Program
Aside from intensive Case Management, the New Orleans Women’s Shelter has also been working hard to improve and develop our in-house Employment Program. Lee Reisman is our newest Employment Coordinator and she works individually with our residents to seek full time employment and any educational needs. The program is designed to build resume writing and interviewing skill, while providing guidance and resources for daily job searches. Our Employment Coordinator works closely with other agencies throughout New Orleans whose goals are also to increase employment and education. Some of these agencies include Job 1, Traveler’s Aid, Dress for Success, St. Vincent DePaul Society, and Red Cross on New Orleans. So far our Employment Program has been incredible successful in in helping our residents find permanent full time employment, and we are looking forward to the further growth of this program.
Partnering with the New Orleans Healing Center
The New Orleans Healing Center opened its doors last summer and since then has been reaching out to the community to get people involved with the center. The building consists of several privately owned businesses all involved in health and wellness in some manner. Down Town Fitness is one of these businesses, and has recently partnered with NOWS by providing the shelter with 8 discounted membership cards for resident use. Exercise is proven not only to improve physical health, but mental and emotional health as well, and we are extremely excited to now be able to provide our residents with access to this resource.
Down Town Fitness are not the only ones from the New Orleans Healing Center to reach out to us. New Orleans Community Outreach (NOCO) is a non-profit also located in the center. This organization is reaching out to underprivileged communities in the area, and providing individuals vouchers to use toward the Affordable Healing Arts (AHA) LLC located on the third floor of the Healing Center. AHA provides services including counseling, physical therapy, massage, and guided meditation. This is a great opportunity for our residents who can use AHA to improve both their physical and emotional well-being.
New Orleans Women’s Shelter Partners with Delgado’s Service Learning Students
This will be the third semester that the New Orleans Women’s Shelter is partnering with the Service Learning Students at Delgado Community College. In the past students have participated in donation drives and organized health workshops for the residents at NOWS. This semester we will continue collecting donated items, as well as work with a senior graphic design class who will create brochures, informational packets, and posters to bring awareness about our cause. We are very excited about this partnership and look forward to future events with the Service Learning students at Delgado.
La Quinta Inns & Suites Donates Mattresses to the New Orleans Women’s Shelter
February 28, 2012
Volunteers from the New Orleans Women’s Shelter helped run La Quinta Inns & Suites event, breaking the Guinness World Record for the largest human mattress domino drop, at the Convention Center February 28, 2012. In return for our help, La Quinta Inns & Suites donated 20 brand new mattresses to the shelter. A total of 850 mattresses were donated to organizations throughout the city of New Orleans in an effort to end homelessness. A special thank you goes out to La Quinta Inns & Suites for their hard work organizing such a generous event.