Valdosta woman opens homeless shelter
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - A Valdosta woman is looking to help serve the community and provide other women in the area with an escape for homelessness and high-risk situations.
Lisa Straughtern, founder of the Meeting Place II, says that this transitional homelessness shelter is a dream that has been years in the making.
“It was a vision that God gave me over 20 years ago," said Straughter.
But it wasn't until about a year ago that she began looking to make this vision a reality.
The vision of helping women with what she calls a “hand up, not a handout.”
“We are a 30 to 90-day program just depending on where they are—get them back on their feet into our beautiful community to live, laugh, love, be happy with a new life," said Straughter.
Straughter describes her program as an outreach ministry providing short term assistance to women facing homelessness.
“My prayer is that within two weeks after they’re here—two and half weeks after they’re here—we’ll have them connected. Everyday, they’ll come here and they’ll be out looking for a job," said Straughter.
These women include those who may be struggling with things like substance abuse issues or problems re-entering society after incarceration.
“Some people ask me, ‘Lisa, what makes you think you can change these women?’ You’re looking at change," said Straughter.
A change that inspired her to open this facility.
“I went through a bit of homelessness myself—for two and a half weeks of my life. As I tell everybody, one moment is a moment too long," said Straughter.
Even after having to wait 20 years to make her vision a reality, she is finally about to open the Meeting Place II with one simple message in mind.
“When you trust in God, he’ll make it happen for you,” said Straughter.
The Meeting Place transitional shelter is set to open in mid-March.
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