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Click to Read a Note from our Executive Director about the Women’s Center
A Note from Rev. Joe Colaizzi
The word evokes images of ragged coats, weathered faces, cardboard signs. In 27 years as executive director at Kansas City Rescue Mission, I’ve met thousands who have been known by that singular, sad title — Homeless.
But I’ve never met anyone who dreamed as a child of growing up to live on the streets … to dig through trash … to have an addiction … to be homeless. No. As children we all imagined great adventures and accomplishments ahead, full of hope for the best.
There’s another image that usually comes to mind when we think of the word “homeless.” The weathered face we picture is that of a man.
While it’s true that most of the homeless are male, the cold reality is that more and more women are finding themselves in the same situation. In recent years, KCRM’s staff has noted increasing numbers of women on the streets around the Men’s Center and coming in for help.
In 2009 and 2010, KCRM facilitated three studies of Kansas City’s homeless population to confirm our belief that single, homeless women with multiple issues were dramatically underserved. And it was true — there was no place to turn where all their special needs could be adequately addressed.
Unlike women with families, single, homeless women are alone … in fact, many have lost their children because of their situations. And they carry other baggage — addiction coupled with varying degrees of mental illness. Mental health professionals call it “dual diagnosis.”
These are women we feel compelled, even driven to help! In the following pages, I invite you to read about these precious people and what KCRM is doing to stand in the gap for them.
As you read, I ask you to remember one important truth: these women were little children once as were we … with cherished hopes and dreams.
I offer this invitation: Let’s work together, and by God’s grace, help single, homeless women who come to the KCRM Women’s Center realize new dreams for a better future.