Denver case worker sees a great need for women's transitional housing
Nirmeen El Sayed spent her Saturday showing off the home she and her Muslim brothers and sisters of ICNA Relief use to help women and children get a new start in life.
She is a case worker for the organization which provides transitional housing to women experiencing homelessness. She says it's a service the Denver metro area greatly needs.
"I've literally had to take women and children out of their cars in the dead of winter to bring them into the home," El Sayed said.
She says the goal is to give women a safe place to stay while they transition from one phase of life to another because, oftentimes, they aren't safe in a traditional homeless shelter.
"You hear stories of people getting, you know, raped or purses stolen or belongings stolen," she said.
She says since they opened their doors five years ago, they have helped 40 women and sometimes their children. She says the women who stay here are grateful.
"They can't believe that they are you know they're finally in a home or they have a room of their own," El Sayed said.
This house is the first step of a journey for these women. Once here, Nirmeen and ICNA Relief work with the women on getting a job, saving, spending and securing permanent housing.
"We make sure that women are ready to become independent between 6 to 9 months," El Sayed said.
Nirmeen says the program is highly sought after. There is a waiting list to get in, that is getting longer.
"With the economic situation with inflation we only we only assume that it's gonna get worse," she said.
She says that only makes her work more important, and while ICNA Relief is a Muslim organization, they help women of all backgrounds and religions because helping your fellow man or woman is a fundamental belief in Islam.
"It's really our obligation not to be sleeping in our comfortable homes. While our brothers and sisters are out in the streets," El Sayed said.
Nirmeen says the need is so great that she is raising money to buy a second house.
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