By DAVID LOPEZ
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Such were the words of Jesus of Nazareth, providing an example of how to serve those in need. Currently, following such an example is Judah’s House, a fairly new women’s shelter in San Benito, with the mission of relieving women from the dangers of homelessness, abandonment, and domestic abuse.
Judah’s House opened its doors in January 2018 as a subsidiary of Cross Community Development Corporation, a community arm of Cross Church.
“As leaders here at Cross Church, for many years we’ve seen the need in women, single moms that are looking for prayer and God,” said Executive Director of Judah’s House, Rose Mary Loya. “For many years our hands were tied where all we could do was pray for them, maybe fill up their tank, get some bags of groceries for them, and send them off. But with Judah’s House, we can go a step beyond; we can pray for them and give them that hope but also give them something in their hand,” she said.
As a women’s transitional home, Judah’s house offers temporary housing to women and children in need. Women are able to enjoy the privacy of one bedroom each in comparison to other shelters where clients share an open room with several beds. The house has 14 beds that, according to Loya, have never been full because Judah’s House is unable to take in difficult cases where the women need more security, especially in domestic violence situations.
“Right now it’s mainly a transitional home for women who are low on funds and just need a place to stay for a few weeks to get them back on their feet. We do not offer permanent housing but we try to resource them out elsewhere,” said Loya. “ For example, if the spouse or whoever is abusing them is in custody and the woman is no longer in danger, we don’t mind housing them. But if the man is still out there and she doesn’t want to press charges, we prefer not to take those cases, and so we refer them to domestic violence shelters.”
Clients are in charge of their own cleaning and their own cooking, and currently there are eight people inhabiting Judah’s House, the majority of them coming in with children.
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