Friday, January 23, 2009

Women's shelter visit

Here's an interesting short article about retailers that are in trouble. I have a few ex's that are going to be unhappy about Ann Taylor's potential future. It sounds REALLY bad for Eddie Bauer. Anyone need prime retail space on Michigan Avenue? I love Eddie Bauer, so I'm NOT happy.

Today I headed down to the true south side of Chicago (3000 east and 8700 south) to check out the Rosenthal Family Lodge, one of the locations supported by Family Rescue, a woman's shelter which I've supported for about a dozen years now. The head of fund raising (and I think she has other titles as well) T.D., took me around the lodge in return for lunch (though lunch was also for her birthday two weeks ago). I took a few pictures, but missed the first part of the tour before I remembered to do it!

Here's the name of the facility.

I love this marker board in the main room. Everyone staying there (there are 32 beds) has to clean their own room and has chores to do on a daily basis. It's more than just a shelter!

The building has three or four floors and a basement. This is a computer set up in the basement.

The main living area (see the marker board in the background?) with thin cushioned seating and a television.

Downstairs next to the computer area is another small lounging area.

The kitchen! Two years ago, our golf outing raised enough in extra donations to buy the stove in the picture. The other one actually had a small explosion and then stopped working.

The playground in the back yard. It's not big and the swings are broke, but the rest is in tact.

Notice there are no women in the pictures. I wasn't allowed to photograph anyone at the shelter, but there were quite a few people and kids there (teacher institute day). The bedrooms all have bunk beds, usually two sets but the larger rooms have three sets. It was nice to see the fruits of what I've been contributing to for so long. The shelter does a great job of protecting the women initially and then helping them get integrated into a different life. The usual length of stay is from overnight to about four months. They try to get the women into their own housing while helping them with restraining orders and child custody documentation filing. You can imagine how intimidating that type of thing can be for someone who is not so educated and in an abusive relationship.


alexis said...

wow, that is really powerful to see those pictures! I need to step up my volunteer work.

stef said...

Thanks for sharing Joe. Your giving is very inspirational!