MIAMI – Leaders from women’s shelters across the country convened in Miami on Wednesday.
They’re working to tackle the nation’s homelessness crisis, and a South Florida icon was there to bring awareness to the cause.
“We need to help these women, these children,” said superstar singer Gloria Estefan. “We need to help the homeless in whatever way we can. We’re seeing that it’s becoming the next plague, really.”
Members of the National Women’s Shelter Network, representing nearly 200 shelters and programs from across the country, gathered in Miami for their first ever conference.
“In the wake of the pandemic, and decades of failed social and public policies, homelessness is reaching epic levels across our nation, impacting, most severely, women and children,” said Constance Collins, NWSN President and Founder of Lotus House.
Collins said more than 1 million women, and more than 2.5 million children, experience homelessness each and every year across the country.
She calls it a “growing crisis.”
“We as a group are the last and final resort,” said Collins. “The final safety net from the streets for countless vulnerable women and children in communities across our country and we need help.”
The goal is to map out real-world solutions, things like funding, readily available affordable housing, access to mental and physical health care, educational and childcare services and post-shelter support.
The initiative, as evidenced by Estefan’s involvement, is already gaining star-powered support.
“There is unity, strength in unity, and that’s what they’re doing, they’re banding together,” said Estefan. “People that are working on the front lines, boots on the ground, in different cities, banding together to see how they can make things better for women and children, all across the nation.”