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Help leaving homelessness behind

Posted by Ralph Ranalli August 7, 2007 10:24 AM

WALTHAM

Leaving homelessness behind isn't always as easy as just moving out of a shelter.

COMPASS for Homeless Families has begun a series of seminars, called "Life After Shelter," at Sandra's Lodge in Waltham, a shelter that houses 70 mothers and children on any given day. The typical "emergency" stay lasts 444 days, and COMPASS director Lana Jackman says it can be easy for the women to sink into despair, and worry about what step to take next.

The talks focus on topics like financial literacy, navigating the healthcare system, career paths, home ownership, workforce skills and homeownership. The program is seeking volunteer speakers to give those seminars and share their personal experiences with participants.

"'Life After Shelter' has a lot of objectives in one sense, but it's really about telling the moms that this is a one-way street - once you turn this corner, you can't imagine the number of options available to you. So while you're still in shelter, you really need to be thinking about them," says Jackman.

Participation requires a one-night commitment; seminars occur Wednesday nights between Sept. 12 and Dec. 12 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Anyone seeking more more information is urged to contact Jackman at 781-862-4446, extension 203, or via e-mail.

-- Stephanie V. Siek

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