Shelter offers hope for Buffalo's homeless women

Posted at 7:40 AM, Dec 15, 2014

A new center is opening up with the goal of helping to decrease the homeless rate for women in the City of Buffalo.

The ribbon cutting ceremony for Hope Gardens takes place on Monday morning. The permanent housing program has been designed to provide therapy to twenty chronically homeless women.

Walking in, one of the first things you see is a living room. The living room will be a place for homeless women to come together.

Congressman Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo), said, "This project represents home for a lot of people who have not known hope in their lives for a long time."

Experts say as a defense mechanism, many homeless woman become isolated. Homeless women often have suffered from physical and sexual abuse.

Michelle Wesowloski, with the Matthew Urban Center who spearheaded much of the effort to build Hope Gardens, describes several areas designed as "an opportunity for women who have faced a lot of trauma in their life to come together to discuss it."

The apartment building also includes a "sanctuary" and a library with a computer center. Builders hope that residents will become further educated and start the process of looking for jobs.

The Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center of WNY built Hope Gardens.

More than five million dollars in grants from the New York State Housing Assistance Program, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Federal Home Loan Bank also contributed the the building of Hope Gardens.