We had the wonderful opportunity to work with Bridgette Blanton from Tiny Pencil Studio as she created beautiful illustrations for us based on each of the programs at Women’s Lunch Place. Learn about Women’s Lunch place alongside these wonderful illustrations!
Women’s Lunch Place is a safe, welcoming daytime shelter for women experiencing poverty or homelessness. We offer a supportive and dignified community, healthy meals, and individualized services to empower women to make positive changes in their lives.
Six days a week, women may have their breakfast and lunch served restaurant style by volunteers. Seasonal produce is used whenever possible and food purchases maximize nutritional benefits. An herb garden outside the shelter is maintained with the help of guests. Meals offer good food and hospitality, going beyond hunger relief, served in a community of friendship, respect, and care. Staff and volunteers are accessible and interested in speaking with guests and listening to their concerns. Consistent, predictable, healthy, nourishment is the core of our mission, and is why so many women become and stay healthy. When a woman feels comfortable because of a well-cooked meal in the company of caring people, she is more likely to trust us and seek opportunities to improve her life with other WLP services.
The Resource Center offers the tools for women to advocate for themselves, to search for a job or housing or other needs. They have free access to computers, telephones, personal voice mail, postal mail services, office supplies, reference materials, and a lending library. TED talks, online courses and computing classes in partnership with Tech Goes Home are just a few of opportunities for women to grow and learn.
Preventing homelessness is a critical mission of our work, and advocates provide the expert assistance necessary to successfully apply for and ultimately secure low income and subsidized housing in the Greater Boston area. Partnerships with public and private housing agencies are essential to offer women access to every opportunity to find safe, low income and stable homes. We also provide emergency financial support to women at urgent risk of losing their homes, those in unsafe or substandard housing, or when circumstances allow, those staying with friends or family, situations not covered by housing agencies.
Advocates help develop safety plans with survivors of domestic violence, teach skills to create and manage a budget, work with women to navigate the federal bureaucracy for government benefits, and other critical concerns. We coordinate follow-up care with other agencies and professionals to assure that each woman receives all the support she may need. We provide funds to help pay for vocational training, classes and other personal advancement opportunities.
Beyond food, clothing and shelter, we all need connection to others, and to express ourselves. The art classes in the Creative Expressions Program foster vital relationships, improve a woman’s self-esteem and dignity and gives her ways for express her voice and experiences through artistic expression, such as painting, photography, sewing and much more. Guests enjoy the healing and rewarding experiences in a community of support and care.
Women’s Lunch Place provides necessities for each woman. There is a 11-bed nap room, showers and laundry facilities, emergency clothing, daily necessities, feminine hygiene products and toiletries available to every guest. Women come into the shelter without being questioned about needs or eligibility requirements. Greeted warmly, they are asked “how can we help”. The women’s’ needs are often acute hunger, trauma, despair, and substance abuse, and we respond appropriately with dignity.
When a woman decides to walk through our doors for the first time she is committing an act of courage. By coming to us, she is one step closer to living a better life. Staff and volunteers welcome her with respect and dignity. She may choose a shower or bed to nap, or join other women for a hearty, nutritious meal. We are a safe refuge from the streets and the stresses of abuse, isolation, and loneliness that is the experience of too many women. Your generosity will ensure that we continue to help heal women, restore their sense of belonging, and support them as they work to regain their confidence and rebuild their lives.
Special thank you to Bridgette Blanton from Tiny Pencil Studio and Catchafire.org!