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Union Gospel Mission celebrates milestone

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Hundreds of women have found refuge at Union Gospel Mission’s shelter in the past year and many of them have made positive changes.

This week marks the one year anniversary of the Union Gospel Mission Women’s Day Shelter. It’s a resource for women and mothers struggling with homelessness.

Barbara Atkins is the manager of the shelter, and she says this is a place where marginalized women can feel like they belong.

“With us, they tell us if they’re planning on coming back the next day. We do have quite a few regulars, although we see the average of one new person every single day. We are hooked in with the other providers in the neighbourhood,” she says.

“Homeless women represent about 27 per cent of the population, so we’re a couple of hundred short on beds for women. A lot of women are not comfortable in a mixed shelter,” Atkins adds.

She says it’s a matter of safety, if a woman hasn’t be heard from, the community knows to keep their eyes and ears open for them.