(Photo: The Bowery Mission/Alicia Hansen)
NEW YORK – The Bowery Mission, one of the oldest and largest charity organizations in New York City, has opened a newly-renovated transitional home for formerly homeless women in Harlem this week, providing them further security as they get back on their feet.
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly were present at the unveiling of The Bowery Mission Women's Center in Harlem Tuesday, as was James Winans, the Chief Development Officer at The Bowery Mission. Winans told The Christian Post that by opening this women's center, the Christian organization seeks to provide women with "one of the practical things that they need."
"We have eight newly renovated apartments for our graduates to live in," he explained, noting that The Bowery Mission has been serving the homeless for 133 years. The Women's Center is currently the only faith-based residential recovery program for homeless women in Manhattan, he said.
"In 2005 we extended our care to women by opening a women's center on the Upper East Side for twenty women recovering from homelessness, addiction or abuse, and they go through a Christian program of recovery," Winans told CP, adding that around 60 people attended Tuesday's ceremony. "When they graduate, they are connected with friends and family, they are clean and sober, they have a job and a place to live – those are our measurements of graduation."
Commissioner Kelly added in a press release:
"I have been impressed by The Bowery Mission's work with women ever since my wife Veronica helped renovate the first Women's Center in 2005. Over the past eight years, they have transformed many lives – not just the women who need help, but also the women who support the home."
The Bowery already provides homeless men and women with temporary dormitories, fresh meals, new clothes, a recovery program and career development services. The newly opened transitional home gives women the "final key component of recovery – stable housing – as they re-enter the workforce."