RALEIGH — One of the oldest and most successful programs to help homeless women is going through some big changes. It is relocating from Johnston County to downtown Raleigh.
TheRaleigh Rescue Missionhas decided to relocate its women and children's shelter to Raleigh. The goal is to give the women more access to transportation, jobs and social services.
The challenge will be to avoid the new access to temptations especially when you are moving an entire shelter from one county to another.
After four years, the Riverside Christian Center in Clayton is closing its doors. The residents say the program works.
"It just lifts you up. It gives you a sense of direction. It makes you want to live again," said resident Melanie Ross.
Twenty-five women and children are moving to a newly renovated section of the Raleigh Rescue Mission in downtown Raleigh.
"It might be hard, but I think I can handle it," said Andrea, a resident.
Andrea does not want to be identified, because she is worried about an abusive ex-boyfriend. She is also worried about the big city temptations for women like herself.
"I've got to be strong enough to stay away from drugs. I'm not going to lose my daughter over my stupidity again. I lost her once, and it was hard to get her back," said Andrea.
The director of the program, Trent Taylor, says the women need to have access to the bus, jobs and social services. He believes it will work just as well in Raleigh as it did in Clayton.
"You have to get to a point where you want to stay clean worse than you want to get high, no matter where you're at," explained Taylor.
The Rescue Mission will be able to accommodate 55 women and children, the same number of spaces they had in Clayton.
It is the biggest shelter program for women and children in the area. The goal is to gradually increase the number of people they help.
On any given night inWake County, there are more than 2,000 homeless people. Single men and women account for 1,300 of them, and 750 are families with at least one homeless parent and a child.
If you would like to help the homeless by donating time or money, you can call Raleigh Rescue Mission at919-828-9014.