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Transitional Housing

February 6, 2008

By Melanie McGrath

Recently The Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center (NAWHERC) has purchased transitional housing. This will greatly benefit the many local women and children in the Yankton Sioux Community that suffer from domestic violence. Right now, many victims of domestic violence and sexual assault turn to the Women’s Lodge, which is a shelter run by the NAWHERC. Besides offering emergency, temporary housing, the Women’s Lodge is a means for holistic services for victims, offering mentoring, alcohol abuse education, job readiness skills building, GED preparation, food pantry services and other programs that assist women and families.

The Women’s Lodge can sleep 18 per night before anyone has to sleep on the floor. Two-thirds of our residents are children, because most women bring their children to protect them from the abuser’s violence. But too many women and children are forced to return home to the abuser because of the lack of transitional housing after their stay at the shelter. With a gift from you the NAWHERC can purchase four two-bedroom apartments that will help transition women and their children from the Women’s lodge to independence. The apartments are located in Lake Andes, SD, only blocks from the local law enforcement, schools, grocery stores and across the street from the medical clinic, which is perfect because most women that come to the shelter do not have cars to get them around.

The cost of these units is $35,000, but they need some renovating work such as painting, new carpets, plumbing work, electrical work, and new shingles for the roof. The cost of repairs will run approximately $25,000. We have a goal of $60,000, with your help we could get there. The NAWHERC is just about done remodeling the first of the four units. They are providing basic furnisher, including a couch and a table for the living room, a dining room table, bunk beds and a bureau in one bedroom and a full size bed, a bureau and an night stand in the other bedroom. They are also providing basic necessities, like pots, pans, silverware and dishes to help the family get settled in.these safe and affordable homes, purchased with your gift, will help women and children fleeing from domestic violence and sexual assault to permanently escape their violent relationship andachieve independence.

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