The Free Press, Mankato, MN


May 18, 2013

Shelter for homeless right start

To Mankato civic leaders for, once again, stepping up to address a growing demand for shelter by homeless women.

The needs appears to be dramatic and continuing even though the Theresa House, Welcome Inn shelters and the CADA House program for domestic abuse victims stand ready to fill part of the demand.

The Mankato Salvation Army has approached the city of Mankato for assistance in doubling its current capacity of cold weather shelter beds by adding 23 beds for women, matching the number it currently provides for men.

The City Council voted to approve $75,000 to help remodel the Salvation Army’s existing thrift store at its downtown location in the new women’s shelter.

Salvation Army Capt. Mike Parker told the council that the three other agencies have to turn away people who are in need of local shelter. The aim of the new shelter would be focused on single women and be operated much like the men’s shelter, mostly in the colder months during the evenings and overnight.

The city would be allocating part of its $320,000 in federal money it receives as part of its affordable housing allocation.

The need for this service appears great. The community is again taking a positive step to address it.

Cancer education

To actress Angelina Jolie for sharing her personal story about cancer prevention. No matter how you may feel about celebrities and their many causes, it took a lot guts for Jolie to share very personal information about her decision to have a double mastectomy as a cancer-prevention measure.

Jolie was very clear about the fact she has the genetic mutation (BRCA1) that greatly increases the likelihood of her getting breast and/or ovarian cancer. Her mother died of ovarian cancer at age 56.

Sharing her personal story could save lives of women who have a strong family history of cancer and may have been unaware of the genetic testing available. With the help of genetic counseling, perhaps followed by the testing, women can get the information needed to make educated decisions about their health care.

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