Written by Arielle Black-Foley
I walked into Prescott Area Women’s Shelter (PAWS) having no real idea what to expect. I had never worked with a homeless population before, so I was fairly clueless what brought our guest to the shelter, what the dynamic was between staff and guests, and even what a typical day was like in the shelter. One thing was clear to me from the beginning; the shelter was a lot homier than I had imagined. On each bunk was a colorful quilt, and above each bed there was a colored frame honoring the individual(s) who helped pay for that bed. The women’s spirits matched the colorful room; rather than a building full of hopelessness and gloom (as I had prepared myself for), I noticed that women seemed generally quite happy and at ease here.
Sure, women would have their bad days, but at the end of the day, PAWS was a second chance for them, and they were committed to doing whatever they needed to get back on their feet. The staff also did their best to insure each woman’s success. The Case Manager here met weekly with each woman, creating weekly goals and monitoring their improvement. The really exciting part: it’s working! I have already witnessed 12 women transition out of PAWS since August.
The sad part is that there is such a need for our services. We have served 4,703 women in this year alone, and have had a consistent waitlist since opening. You can always help us to provide food, shelter, and access to resources for homeless women and children by donating goods, making a monetary donation or volunteering in the shelter.
Yet, there is a more immediate way to make a difference. The Prescott Area Women’s Shelter (PAWS) invites you to join us for our Holiday Fundraiser, which will be taking place on November 18th from 5 to 8 PM in the Ballroom at Hotel St. Michael. The Event will consist of a silent auction, and a raffle filled with wonderful items from local artists and business owners (cash and check only; no credit cards). There will be delicious appetizers as well as a cake table with coffee, tea and sweets. Tickets are $35 a person.
For more ticket information, please contact Patricia Brockert, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at 928-541-0063.
For general information on our shelter, please go to www.prescottshelter.org.