Rainbow Place in Rockville opens its doors to homeless women for the winter -- Gazette.Net


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As Rainbow Place shelter prepares to open its doors for the winter, its staff is planning a pre-Thanksgiving fundraising walk to get people in the spirit of giving.

Rainbow Place, an emergency homeless shelter at Rockville Presbyterian Church, provides 25 beds for women each night from November through March.

Anne Baur, board president, said money from the fundraising walk will go toward operating costs, salaries, food purchases and other expenses that crop up.

“The big thing is to make enough money to keep the shelter open,” she said. “... We did well last year; people were very generous.”

Rainbow Place opened its doors in 1982. Last winter, it served almost 10,000 meals to 70 different women. In addition to food and a place to sleep, the shelter provides showers, laundry facilities, some bus tokens and referrals to other social services.

One day, Baur said, she hopes the shelter will be able to hire a therapist to work with the women throughout the season and help them transition into more permanent housing.

“Our pie-in-the-sky desire is to have enough money to hire a therapist,” Baur said, although she says organizers would have to raise a lot more money and work out the details before they could hire one.

For now, staff and volunteers, including a case worker, will continue to help the women at Rainbow Place and as they find more stable housing.

The fundraiser for Rainbow Place is scheduled to begin with a light lunch at 11:30 a.m. and a 1-mile walk at 12:15 p.m. Sunday at Rockville Presbyterian Church, 215 W. Montgomery Ave. State Sen. Jennie M. Forehand (D-Dist. 17) of Rockville is this year’s grand marshal.

Registration, which includes a T-shirt, costs $30 for adults, $20 for youths and $50 for families. Register and get more information at rainbowplace.org or by calling 301-762-1496.

ewaibel@gazette.net