CLEVELAND - An event this weekend provides an opportunity to help some women in need.
Proceeds from Friday night's event "An Evening Of Hope" will benefit several local organizations that help women in need. One of those organizations is Transitional Housing, which helps women and children transform their lives.
Among them is Marlena Smith. She is happy to have her own place. "When I came here it was such a welcoming atmosphere. They took everything off of you, the burden. They make you feel so comfortable and just welcome," she said.
Smith has been living at Transitional Housing for six months. Before that she was living in a homeless shelter after she was laid off from her job. The college graduate is able to get her life back together here. Transitional Housing provides a host of programs, including financial literacy, life management skills and help with resume writing. "They offer so many things to get us stable and on our feet and heading in the right direction," Smith said.
Transitional Housing was founded by four nuns in 1986 to provide a safe environment and services for homeless women. After 28 years, the one-time hotel is worn down and showing its age. Transitional Housing executive director Sherri Brandon feels they're outgrowing the building and are in desperate need of a new facility. "We are bursting at the seams, we don't have room. We're an old Travel Lodge. We keep it in good condition, but it's not a doable model for what we need to do for our clients," she said.
As Marlena Smith gets back on her feet, she hopes to someday open her own shelter for women. She credits Transitional Housing for transforming her life. "I just thank god for the nuns that created this place. That's the fact that keeps it going. It's awesome," Smith said.
"An Evening Of Hope" is Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Mt. Zion Oakwood Village Church.
You can find out more about Transitional Housing at their website.