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May 7, 2014

Sanctuary II offers refuge and assistance

NORMAN — Norman’s newest day shelter for low-income or homeless women and their children is officially open and ready to serve those in need.

Catholic Charities’ Sanctuary II, 1100 N. Porter Ave., opened Monday and has already served a few women. With East Main Place recently closing, Lisa Chamberlain, director of the women’s development center, said the timing couldn’t have been better.

The renovated facility on Porter Avenue now features two full bathrooms where women can shower, a washer and dryer, a small play area for children, computers for women to search for jobs or real estate, a classroom and a space to relax.

“We want to make sure they have options, make sure they have a safe haven,” Chamberlain said. “We want them to feel comforted, accepted and meet them wherever they are.”

Chamberlain said they offer services focusing on helping the women meet their immediate and long-term needs. That could include anything from providing them with clothes or focusing on employment goals.

The development shelter is partnered with several local agencies to help provide women with these services.

“A lot of women could be leaving an abusive situation in the middle of the night and leave everything at home,” Chamberlain said, adding that partnering agencies help them provide women with clothing and any other needs such as birth certificates or identification cards.

Aside from basic necessities, Chamberlain also has future plans for the facility and women in the community who are in need. She said they plan to offer Alcohol Anonymous classes, have a Bible study, get an agency to teach life skills curriculum and help women get GEDs.

“We’ll also provide individual counseling and hopefully a support group, as well,” she said. “We want to support people in getting them to the next step.”

Santuary II is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information call 701-8242.

Jessica Bruha

366-3540

jbruha@normantranscript.com

 

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