At CaptainCon last month we held our annual fundraiser. It was my delight, my honour, to coordinate this, with the help of the Lost crew and the New England Privateers, prize donations from our sponsors, friends, and so many more, and of course the generous support of so many convention attendees.
Recently Paul (Snakeman) and Craig (Lonelymonk) of the New England Privateers were able to deliver the funds raised directly to Rosie’s Place. Behold yon crosspost from the CaptainCon blog.
Yesterday was an exciting day for a couple of us here at the New England Privateers. After a few weeks of trying to make the logistics work, we were finally able to deliver the check from the Lost Hemisphere Charity Raffle held at CaptainCon 2016 to Rosie’s Place. You can see Craig and Paul above with Katie from Rosie’s Place in front of a quilt made by their guests. Not present is the most important person in the equation – Chris “Gdaybloke” Miller. He’s the guy that makes the magic happen and through his hard work and your generosity, we were able to hand off a check for $4,014. We were able to take a brief tour of their facilities and learn a bit about where the gamer dollars will be going.
Rosie’s Place is the first women’s shelter in the United States – providing support to 12,000 low income, homeless, and struggling women each year. They take NO government funding so rely on donations like yours for everything they do. This also means that they don’t have to worry about artificial restrictions on the services they offer and allows them to be inclusive of everyone. No one is turned away because they can’t provide documentation that they’re needy enough. Rosie’s Place is also fully inclusive of LGBTQ and trans women – if you identify as a woman and need help, you’re welcome at Rosie’s Place with respect, compassion, and dignity.
The tour started in the dining room which is open all day serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner or just a cup of coffee any time. Keeping with their founding traditions, no woman in need is ever turned away and all meals are served restaurant style at the table. When means aren’t being served, the room doubles as a library for guests and their children, an art room (the whole place is full of wonderful art made by the guests), and more.
Outside the dining room, we visited the food pantry where women in need from around the Boston area can come to get groceries to feed their families including fresh fruits and vegetables and meat as well as the usual canned goods and cereals. Beyond the food pantry was the common area entry lobby where guests can check out the bulletin board of events scheduled for the day, make use of a secure locker in the locker room, or talk with an advocate to connect with services.
The advocate system at Rosie’s Place blew us away. They really exemplify Rosie’s Place’s commitment to treating every guest with respect, dignity, and kindness. They help guests connect with health care services, legal services, counseling and social services, and even make home visits to continue following up with homeless guests once they’ve found housing and are making the transition to living on their own again. Rosie’s Place even has an outreach van that drives around the city to provide services to women who aren’t able to make it to the shelter.
Next, we visited the classrooms. Rosie’s Place runs classes for their guests ranging from basic literacy (many of the homeless women they serve are immigrants from countries where women aren’t taught to read or write) to computer/iPad skills (you need to be able to use a touch screen computer to apply for a job at many places) to math and personal financial management.
Finally, we visited their “open house” shelter room. All of their shelter rooms have 4 beds, are handicap accessible, and have access to a common kitchen and living room area. Unlike other shelters which book their beds on a night-by-night basis where you don’t know if you’ll have a bed each day, Rosie’s Place gives guests a bed for a whole week so that there’s a sense of stability and certainty to give them time to focus on other needs for a bit.
To sum it all up, we’re still impressed with the generosity of our fellow gamers in contributing to the cause and now we can add how impressed we are with what Rosie’s Place will be able to do with those generous donations. Thank you all for helping make good and important work happen for women in need.