Her Safe Haven
Are more women seeking help from homeless shelters?
The Salvation Army in Texarkana says the trend has been increasing and their women's shelters are now at full capacity.
Debbie Larrivee has been seeking shelter at the Salvation Army for more than three months.
She was a victim of domestic violence and says the shelter became her safe haven.
"I had no place to go, no home to go to," said Larrivee.
Since she's been in the shelter, Larrivee says she's found a part-time job and has been participating in the shelter's services.
When the Salvation Army was first built, there were only four beds for women. Corps officer Lt. Lacy Parrish says its now doubled.
"The population has definitely shifted a bit, we still have more men than women in the shelter but we've definitely seen an increase," said Lt. Parrish.
The rise in women seeking homeless shelters has been a trend for agencies across Northeast Texas.
The Hiway 80 Rescue Mission in Longview is currently housing 65 women and children, up from 25 at this time last year.
Lt. Parrish says more women seeking shelter may actually be a positive sign that women are now more willing to ask for help and turn to shelters sooner.
Parrish says most of the women in the Texarkana shelter are single mothers between the ages of 30 to 40.
Most of the women say they appreciate the food and shelter services for their children and the added security the shelter provides.
For women like Larrivee, the Salvation Army has given her another chance to start over.
The Salvation Army partners with the Texas Workforce Commission to provide job training programs.
They also partner with the Arkansas Department of Human Services to provide transitional employment assistance.
Corp officials say single mothers can use the service for transportation of their children to child care while they look for work.
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