Women aim to change the stigmas associated with homelessness
BRADENTON – “Homeless is no place for anybody, but we pull together and we help each other out,” said Kristina Gomez.
Kristina Gomez, affectionately known as Momma G, was invited to get a makeover at the very first Ladies Empowerment and Pampering event 5 years ago and now, she’s a volunteer, helping women who were invited to be a part of this year’s event.
Founded by Laura Licoski, women from Home Is Where the Heart Is bonded with volunteers and other women over manicures, makeup, photos, and food.
The goal: making women feel good about themselves, each went home with donated clothing, makeup, purses, shoes, and other items.
“It’s also teaching the women serving here today, especially if they’re first time volunteers. It is crucial they know how to serve properly. They need to be open minded. No judgement whatsoever,” said Licoski.
Judgement is something Momma G and Licoski both experienced during their time living homeless on the streets.
“When they see a homeless person out on the street they shy from them. They think they’re all drug addicts, they think oh why don’t you just go get a job, it’s not that easy sometimes. I couldn’t just go out and get a job cardiologist says no. I have heart disease I have a defibulator,” said Gomez.
“don’t be so quick to judge someone’s journey. You have no clue what these people have been through. You don’t know what they’re doing right now. There’s a lot of homeless people who work full time jobs a lot of people don’t understand that,” said Gomez.
Laura Licoski is another example of how being non judgemental can change a life.
She met Momma G around Christmas time 5 years ago and the rest is history.
“I had no money and she was looking to adopt. She made Christmas my first year living in that place the best Christmas my grandkids and kids ever had,” said Gomez.
Reporting in Sarasota, Jessika Ward, SNN The Suncoast News Network.
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