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Peninsula nonprofit supports homeless women and children during COVID-19

People who are homeless face unique challenges during the pandemic. The nonprofit NATASHA House is helping women and families work toward home security.

YORKTOWN, Va. — Social distancing and staying at home help reduce the spread of the coronavirus - but people without a home may be unable to separate themselves from others.

"If you don't have a place to live, and you're living maybe with someone else or you're living in a communal setting... you don't have the advantage or the privilege to be able to distance yourself," said Dr. Karen Brown, Executive Director of NATASHA House.

"NATASHA" stands for New Alternative Toward A Secure Home Atmosphere. The nonprofit in Yorktown serves as a transitional home for women and children. 

Dr. Brown's passion comes from her own experience, after she and her sons had no place to stay. 

"Some of the things I wanted to prevent is that cycle of having older children be responsible for younger children, and then breaking that stigma of getting therapy or counseling to deal with trauma," Brown said.

The crisis has forced NATASHA House office to close its doors for now, but the group is still doing all it can to reach people working toward self-sufficiency. 

"We're still housing our seven families and making sure that they stay safe," said Dr. Brown. "Another thing that we're still doing is we're holding Zoom trainings for the moms, because we do budgeting [and] financial planning."

The nonprofit said it needs your financial help to continue to provide housing and counseling services during the pandemic. 

"In the long run, we also need to be thinking about how are we gonna change this dynamic for our homeless population," Brown said. "Do something for them and require something of them that will cause their lives to be changed."

For more information about the nonprofit, visit its website or Facebook page. You can also donate directly by clicking here.

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