Local Women’s Shelter seeking community assistance

Brighter Tomorrows, which is located at 928 Bluebird Dr., operates women’s shelters in Irving and Grand Prairie. They had several pipes burst on Feb. 17, which made them evacuate the Irving location and find temporary shelter for the residents until repairs can be made.

“We haven’t even begun to assess the damage yet,” said CEO Colleen Jamieson. “We had to concentrate on the rapid rehousing of our clients. Some were moved in apartments before we had really expected to move them. We provide transitional housing, so we had to use those resources as well. Thank God no one was hurt.”

Jamieson said that a staff member made it to the shelter on Wednesday and discovered the disaster that was caused by the broken pipes. Some parts of the ceiling had caved in as well from the pressure of snow and ice turning into water.

“Thank God we have two shelters,” said Jamieson. “We moved as many clients as we could to the Grand Prairie shelter and basically put them wherever we could find a spot. We repurposed computer labs and other rooms to make sure clients had a place to stay. We had arranged for some clients to go to a nearby hotel that we work with, but then they called us back and said they couldn’t accommodate us because their pipes burst, too.”

Brighter Tomorrows also operates a food pantry and a store called “Brighter Mart” that provides toiletries, diapers and other personal needs.

“We ended up having three inches of water in the food pantry and Brighter Mart, which is in the administration building,” Jamieson said. “Most everything in there is lost.”

Brighter Tomorrows’ main mission is to provide a safe place for women who have survived domestic violence and/or sexual assault and rape to begin the journey to healing physically, mentally and spiritually. They offer services such as counseling, helping to find childcare, legal services, job assistance and transitional housing.

Jamieson said that they are desperate for donations, whether they be monetary, volunteers or physical items. They are in need of just about everything: blankets, towels, diapers, baby formula, toiletries and much more. They are a 501 (c)(3) organization, so donations are tax deductible.

Updates and lists of what is needed may be found on Brighter Tomorrows’ Facebook Page at Facebook.com/BrighterTomorrowsTX. Monetary donations may be made online at BrighterTomorrows.net/Copy-of-Donate or call 972-254-4003. The staff speaks both English and Spanish.

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