Gifts to Our Community: Uniting Partners for Women and Children
Motivated by a desire to help others, Andrea Scott and Amy Meredith founded Uniting Partners for Women and Children (UP). This drop-in day shelter is a safe space that empowers homeless women to reclaim their hope. “We want our guests to feel like they’re part of a community — to know that someone cares about their well-being and offers hope for another day,” says Co-founder and Director Andrea Scott.
Until UP for Women and Children arose, there was no other shelter devoted exclusively to women. “Women didn’t have that daytime safe space with the comprehensive services like the men did,” Andrea says. When women come to this facility, they’re immediately assisted with practical needs such as showers, laundry, access to phones, and even help in obtaining IDs or birth certificates.
UP for Women and Children has also partnered with other agencies and the women can talk with mental health care providers, nurse practitioners, and legal aid advisors should they need. “We try to use our facility as a point of connection for our women,” Andrea says.
Andrea says that their main desire in establishing UP for Women and Children was to reduce the stigma and barriers that women face when it comes to homelessness by empowering them. The organization’s resource program seeks to give its guests opportunities that will lead them down a path to achieving self-sufficiency. “Our goal is to help women recognize their worthiness by teaching them to advocate for themselves,” Andrea says. In one year, UP for Women and Children has opened its doors to 500 women, providing 1,200 showers and 1,100 loads of clean laundry, proving there’s certainly a need for this kind of distinctive service. This is why Up for Women and Children is committed to giving in ways that are truly uplifting.