Rosie's Place: women's community of liberation celebrates 25

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Wed, 7 Apr 1999 22:45:42 -0700 (PDT)


"Since welfare reforms went into effect last December, Tiernan said Rosie's
has seen a 25 percent increase in meals served, and workers are referring
more newly homeless families to state agencies for help." -- from article
below

http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/095/metro/Celebrating_25_years_of_feeding_need
yP.shtml
FWD  Boston Globe  April 5, 1999  page B01

     CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF FEEDING NEEDY

     By Jordana Hart

At first glance, the party yesterday  at Rosie's Place seemed an odd one.

Four women, cigarettes in their mouths, played a serious hand of cards.
Aretha Franklin's voice warmed the dining room as women hummed to the music
of their youth. Mothers and babies, in crisp Easter lace, watched children
flit around a clown. Some older women sat silently by themselves.

Then, Kip Tiernan  walked in, and it all made sense.

The 73-year-old crusader opened the South End shelter for poor and homeless
women on Easter Sunday in 1974, and she wasn't about to let the holiday
pass without a 25th birthday bash.

''Poor people have always found a way to celebrate, and it doesn't have to
be a big deal,'' Tiernan said, hugging and chatting with the women.

The mix of people was evidence that Rosie's caters not only to the 600
homeless women who sleep here annually. For years, some older women have
spent the day at Rosie's simply for food and company.

Since welfare reforms went into effect last December, Tiernan said Rosie's
has seen a 25 percent increase in meals served, and workers are referring
more newly homeless families to state agencies for help.

The dining room serves more than 230 meals daily to an ever younger crowd
of poor women and their children, homeless or not. The privately funded
shelter also gives out free groceries and runs a food cooperative.

Omayra Ramos said Rosie's has helped her. ''I used to come here every day
with my kids to eat with friends. I felt embarrassed at first, but people
are respectful here.''

Yesterday, Tiernan's words reminded the scores of celebrants of Rosie's
past, and its path ahead. ''I love you very, very much,'' Tiernan told the
crowd. ''Thank you for being a community of liberation.''

END FORWARD

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