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Women in D.C. shelters lose work and housing as pandemic continues

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Calvary Women's Services

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Shelters in D.C. are trying to navigate how to help the homeless and those fleeing abuse while also slowing the spread of the Coronavirus.

Calvary Women’s Shelter in Anacostia has stayed open so women can have a place to stay even as some of them lose their jobs.

Nearly 100 women each day depend on Calvary Women’s Services in the district for food, housing and education.

When the Coronavirus pandemic hit some of the women they help lost jobs and housing.

“We had at least three women who were preparing to move to permanent housing and those housing moves were put on a complete stop,” Kris Thompson said.

Angela Ford turned to Calvary a year ago when she lost the job she had for 25 years.

They helped her with a place to stay as she found a new job at a tire shop, that was before she was furloughed by her employer due to the pandemic.

“I’m building myself back up to go back into the world and here comes the Coronavirus which was like a tidal wave for me,” Ford said.

She isn’t working now, but she is spending time with her Calvary family social distancing while playing basketball, exercising and gardening.

Ford said the virus knocked her off track.

“It set me back as far as moving and getting back on track, branching out and it’s gonna affect the savings that I had,” Ford said.

Calvary also helps women fleeing abuse.

Kris Thompson, Calvary CEO, said the pandemic could cause a rise in domestic abuse.

“We know that happens anytime there is a crisis in our communities but it’s also a time where women are probably more reluctant to reach out for support,” Thompson said.

Ford said she is patient, but ready to put her life back in motion.

“I would like to see myself back doing my 98 work hours and giving back to the community,” Ford said.

You can click here to donate to Calvary Women’s Services.

$15 provides a day of meals for one woman.

$30 provides a night of safe housing for one woman.

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$100 provides classes for a woman who has lost her job.

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