The residents at Sarah’s… an Oasis for Women have continued to check-in with Cheryl Behrent, Director, on a weekly basis and wear masks while out of their rooms as much as possible. However, unlike staying at home where one has access to a private bathroom and kitchen space, residents must share communal spaces. With 29 residents currently at Sarah’s it is almost impossible to have only one woman use the kitchen or one person access the laundry room at a time. Add to this that most residents have escaped places of violence and captivity, staying in one’s room starts to appear more and more dire. The women of Sarah’s are survivors and strong fighters though, they continue to persevere and work toward their goals as much as they can.
The two snapshots below are from two women: one furloughed and one an essential worker.
“I take the bus usually and these days I’m afraid to do it because even if there are only a few people on the bus, it’s hard to know what others are doing to be safe. I am not working right now anyway. Both of my jobs stopped having me come on site during the second week in March and now one pays me still about half of what I made before and the other one has stopped paying as it was only part-time at a school. I don’t know whether either will start again in the future. I am worried about what this will mean for me moving out of Sarah’s because now I don’t have the income I had and still have a lot of obligations for my family back home and my own needs. I will still contribute to Sarah’s during this time because I received the stimulus check and I can help in that way. Thanks for having someone pick up my medications for me from the pharmacy since I don’t feel comfortable going anywhere. My health isn’t good. I wear a mask around Sarah’s whenever I leave my room but most of the time I stay in my room. Thank you for providing enough food for all of us staying home so that we can eat well to stay healthy.”
“Right now I am afraid for myself and everyone else at Sarah’s. I have to go to work because I work in a nursing home. They are pretty careful about checking us every day and I don’t have as many hours. Though before all of this I really loved my job, I am afraid going to work every day because on top of many other things that are stressful for me about my family not being safe with COVID-19 also happening back home in my home country and the conditions there not being good, trying to get my life together enough that I can afford housing on my own which I was nearly ready for before this, we are all trying to stay well and keep others well too. I feel like I am needed and cannot leave this job now even though I stopped sleeping well because of it. I get rides with other people instead of taking the bus because that is scary for me too. We are so blessed to have Sarah’s because where else could I possibly go right now?”