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Shelter to provide services to homeless women

Chris Caya/WBFO news

Homeless women in Buffalo may soon have a safe place to sleep at night as the Matt Urban Center plans on providing temporary housing in the city's Broadway/Fillmore neighborhood.


If all goes according to plan, the vacant former public School 57 on Sears Street near Broadway, will reopen as "Hope House."

Congressman Brian Higgins announced a $1.3 million grant for the project Thursday.

Matt Urban Center Executive Director Marlise Wesolowski says on any given night in Buffalo - thousands of people are homeless.

"Of those 2,000, about 500 of them are women. And many of them are women with children," Wesolowski said.

Along with temporary housing for about 50 women, plans for Hope House include a health clinic, job training, and a commercial kitchen for residents and the community.

From the horrific stories she's heard Wesolowski says it's amazing that the women can even function.

"Many of them are victims of violence of some sort...They're exposed to all kinds of horrible things, that are, in some cases, unspeakable. So this will give the women and their children some new hope for their future."

Wesolowski says there's still a lot of work to do. But she says Hope House could open in a year or two.