Branthaven Homes decorates YWCA for Christmas

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The holidays aren’t always a joyous time, especially for women who are homeless. As Adam Atkinson reports, a generous act of kindness has brightened the spirits of the women staying at Hamilton’s YWCA.

“Its been a tough journey. I’ve had a couple relationships that didn’t work out and I had nowhere to go.” Cyndi McMullen has lived at the Hamilton YWCA for a year and a half now,this will be her second Christmas here. “I have family here, but sometimes they go away on holidays and I have nobody else but I have friends here and the staff is friendly. It feels like family already when you’re here for Christmas.”

This spring the team from Branthaven Homes spruced up all 65 rooms here at the YWCA and today they brought Christmas to the women who will be living here over the holidays.

Steve Stipsits from Branthaven Homes “We were amazed with the ladies, the struggle they’ve gone through to try and get their life back. It’s overwhelming to see them go through it.”

“It means a lot, there’s a lot of people in Hamilton with no family, and Branthaven came in with Christmas decorations and trees it’s just mindblowing.” says Cyndi. There are 65 transitional housing units at the YWCA and unfortunately they’re all full. “A lot of women’s shelters when women have nowhere to go are full, they have no space for women and it’s a struggle.”

Denise Christopherson, CEO YWCA explains “On any one night, you can have over 300 women who are turned away from shelters and transitional living units. We simply do not have enough space for the need there is in our community.”

An afternoon of decorating and crafts, showed these women, that people care about them.

Editor’s note: The original headline for this article misidentified the YWCA. This has been corrected, as has the spelling of Steve Stipsits.