During the entire episode of protests about a possible tent city for the homeless on county land near the Great Park, some roses grew through the muck of NIMYISM where some anti-homeless residents actually suggested pacing the homeless in concentration camps. The Facebook group “Irvine Residents Against Tent City” blocked and banned anyone who opposed them and misinformation about the homeless, and, in particular, homeless women rules the day.
Thankfully not all Irvine neighbors lack compassion. The Facebook Group “SheDoesOC” emerged and you can see the link here: https://www.facebook.com/SheDoes-OC-210620303051600/
SheDoesOC was founded by Jess Phillips, who is just an Irvine mom; here’s what she says about herself and her organization:
I am a Irvine resident, a mom of two, and a homeless advocate. I provide outreach to women on the streets and living in motels in the Orange County area. I was outraged at the fear mongering and dehumanizing statements made by residents of my city and other south county cities, regarding not allowing a shelter in Irvine it was obvious there was a disconnect and a lack of awareness, education, and compassion for our most vulnerable homeless population, the unaccompanied homeless woman. SheDoesOC was born out of the necessity for people take a call to action and demand the rapid sheltering and housing of this most vulnerable and underserved population. Cities need to follow the example of not looking down on someone unless you are looking to help them up.
In Orange County alone there are over 4,000 homeless men, women, and children. One out of four in that population is an unaccompanied woman. Statistics show that by the time these women secure shelter or housing, close to 100% have experienced some sort of domestic violence or sexual abuse, either prior to or as a result of being homeless. Currently there is only one shelter in Orange County that addresses the needs of an unaccompanied homeless woman – this is unacceptable. #SheDoesOC follows the model started by the #SheDoes movement in Los Angeles, which was formed “to promote the rapid sheltering of these unsheltered & unprotected women until they move into stable housing.” Our mission is outreach, community awareness, and a grassroots/boots-on-the-ground approach to empowering our sisters. Our mission is to provide a path to restoration of dignity and self-worth. Our mission is to give them a platform to have their voices heard. Our mission is to provide them with the opportunity to empower one another with their stories of courage, strength, and hope. Orange County has ignored these women’s pleas for safety…. Orange County has failed to provide shelter/housing for these vulnerable women….
Orange County has denied these women access to basic human necessities specific to women… Orange County has turned their backs and shut their doors on this population of the most vulnerable, unprotected and underserved… Orange County residents may have seen these women in their communities, on their streets, in their motels, and in their parks day in and day out…and chose to close their eyes and ignore them… But you didn’t see US coming. #SheDoes deserve SHELTER #SheDoes deserve DIGNITY #SheDoes deserve a CHOICE #SheDoes have a VOICE #SheDoes MATTER #SheDoesOc
7 unique challenges homeless women face…
1. Access to feminine hygiene products are limited.
2. Access to comprehensive prenatal care can be difficult.
3. Homelessness makes attaining or able to afford childcare almost impossible.
4. 1 out of 4 women stated that domestic violence to be the main factor for their current homelessness.
5. Being homeless often means a decrease in personal safety for women.
6. Homeless women are living with much higher rates of mental illness then the general population.
7. Homeless women are the most vulnerable population and are often the target for abuse, violence, exploitation, and human trafficking.
#SheDoesOC is committed and passionate about addressing these challenges and struggles. #SheDoesOC will share ways the community can help through action, to assist with these needs.
So to learn more about homeless woman in OC, like the page and join. Participate.