Homeless women try to make holidays memorable

December 19, 2011 4:57:27 PM PST
One woman lost her home to foreclosure. Others left home with their children because they were in danger. There are many reasons women and children are homeless during the holidays. But we have a story of women in a shelter on their way to a new start and they are making the best of it while they are there.

Nora is getting a haircut from a woman who had more in common with her than she knew. Nora lives in a shelter, the Salvation Army Family Residence. So did stylist Tina Greer when she had been a struggling young mother.

"My passion now is just for the women that are here to kind of try to help them understand that it wasn't a permanent thing," Greer said.

Greer had her own business and has cut hair for President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush.

"Seeing her, being here, having her own place, it's like we can all make it, you know," Nora said.

Second chances, that's what it's about here.

"Grateful I don't have to worry about some place for my son; I have a place that's safe and there's a roof over our head," said Monique, who also lives at the shelter.

Children whose mothers have taken refuge here, sing, decorate and celebrate. Being there, gives them a chance to be children, and the families a chance to build good memories.

"I wanted to give my children a Christmas and to make this homey for them and make them excited about Christmas," said Latarsha, another resident at the shelter.

Latarsha and her daughters decorated their door, the hall, and the floor. They won a grand prize for their artistry. So did Lashawn's family, who cut hundreds of pieces of tissue paper for a tree standing on cottony snow.

"It was kinda exhausting; we stayed up until 12 o'clock each night doing it," said Lashawn's daughter, Courtney.

Decorations are just a part of the memories, and the hope and the kindness that the holidays can bring, even for those who will spend them in a shelter.

"What they're doing is wonderful," Nora said.


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