Nearly all homeless mothers in Syracuse likely have one thing in common: They’ve experienced trauma as a child or adult. That’s the conclusion of a study by the National Center on Family Homelessness at the American Institute of Research. It was funded by the Wilson Foundation based in Rochester.
Wilson Foundation Executive Director Megan Bell explains what she calls the surprising finding that traumatic experiences among mothers are more strongly linked to homelessness than common predictors.
The study found more than 90% of homeless mothers experienced trauma at much higher rates than the general public.
That means locally, as many as 450 women in the Salvation Army's Emergency Family Shelter last year likely brought a history of trauma.
Director of the National Center on Family Homelessness Carmela DeCandia says trauma needs to be addressed as part of the continuum of housing and services provided to families.
The Salvation Army of Syracuse is actually training staff to better understand the traumatic backgrounds some of their clients are likely to bring to their family shelter. Director of Emergency and Child Welfare services Liddy Hintz says they’re also working with a mental health services program at St. Joseph’s hospital.
Preparations are well underway at the OnCenter for the Salvation Army’s Christmas Bureau distribution on Monday. Friday, a forklift operator unloaded a Wegmans truck filled with 19-thousand pounds of non-perishable goods including canned vegetables and fruit, juice, sauces, coffee, cocoa, and tea. That includes 27-hundred bags of potatoes, which Salvation Army Marketing Manager Greg Meitus says wasn’t expected.
More than half the people over 50 in Onondaga County might soon be spending as much as a full-time job caring for sick or invalid relatives. Elderly advocate groups released a study Tuesday that shows caregivers are in crisis.