From Jail To Job: Public Gets Inside Look At Area Homeless Shelters

By Stephanie Parkinson - 21Alive

November 20, 2013 Updated Nov 20, 2013 at 6:07 PM EST

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) - There are so many shelters in Fort Wayne, but knowing the difference between what the Rescue Mission does and the Hope House does isn't always easy.

That's why Wednesday several shelters came together and welcomed the public for a bus tour around the city.

Marisa Hanlon is a true success story for one of the shelters on the tour, Redemption House. She's a convicted drug felon, but the Redemption House helped her turn her life around.

She came to them right from her jail cell, but now she actually works there helping others.

The Redemption House is a transition home for women who are trying to turn their lives around after being in trouble with the law. Often times women are court ordered to the facility.

But that wasn't the only stop on the tour. The group visited several shelters including The Hope House, Charis House, The Rescue Mission and the site of the future Courtyard for foster youth. All the facilities focus on different ways to address the same issue, homelessness.

For Hanlon, she's an example of what these facilities can really do for people.

"I actually had support for once. And when you go there, it feels like a home. You can tell that you're either going to change your life there or you're just not ready," said Marisa Hanlon, Redemption House.

There are around 500 beds between all the shelters in Fort Wayne for people who have nowhere to go. But there are still a lack of places for single women to get help.

If women don't have a record, children, a drug addiction or they are victims of domestic violence there are fewer places that offer help. There is also a lack of emergency shelter for single women without children.




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