Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 25, 2002
Churches asked to help fund women's shelter
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
The Social Justice Commission is urging Catholics to support the ecumenical No Room In The Inn campaign, which this year will focus on facilities for battered women.
Commission director John Lynch has sent letters to all the parishes in the archdiocese inviting them to share their Christmas Eve collection with people who are in need of safe and affordable housing. Many other Christian churches are doing the same.
"The whole idea behind this program is to raise funds for and create a greater awareness of the real need for safe and affordable housing for people in need," Lynch said. "There are many people in our society for whom there is not safe and secure housing."
Funds collected this coming Christmas Eve will be donated to WINGS of Providence, which is building a new 20-suite apartment for women and children who are recovering from family abuse.
Since 1987, the organization has helped nearly 500 women and 1,100 children break free from the cycle of family violence.
It currently provides safe accommodation for 12 abused families for up to six months. During their stay, mothers and their children receive counselling and training to allow them to gain enough skills to make it on their own, Lynch said.
The No Room In The Inn program has collected some $90,000 for housing since it began in 1999. The first collection, $38,000, was given to the Edmonton City Housing Society, which used it as a down payment on land to build a 26-suite apartment for inner-city singles.
The 2000 collection, $40,000, was turned over to Urban Manor, a shelter for men, and was used as seed money to build a new residence for 75 men. The Handicapped Housing Society received $18,000 last year and is currently building a 56-suite apartment for handicapped individuals and families.
The No Room In the Inn program is sponsored by the Edmonton and District Council of Churches, the Social Justice Commission and the Quality of Life Commission. The program's theme revolves around the fact Jesus' parents couldn't find appropriate housing in Bethlehem.