I am a real woman who was in need and went to the Bowery Mission Women's Center located at 216 East 70th Street in NYC for help. What happened left me sick and incapacitated for months and no one that I wrote to at the Bowery Mission has responded to my complaints. I wrote to the CEO, the Chairman and the Chief Development Officer. They all have chosen to ignore what happened to me at their shelter.
First, they denied me access to medical care when I was sick and told me that if I took my medications, that I should not be sick. No one at this charity is medically trained. Yet, they make decisions every day that could mean life or death. They decide every day who gets to see a doctor. They told me that I should stop taking my medications and allow staff to pray over me. One night, I was particularly sick and unable to move. There was no way to call 911 because anyone who stays at their shelter has to relinquish their cell phones and when the office closes in the evening, there is no way to call for help. The Bowery Mission Women's Center violates women's rights every day by denying access to emergency services. I lived it! I thought I would die that night.
Other atrocities I personally experienced at the Bowery Mission include having to eat rodent contaminated food. The shelter had a severe rat infestation. Droppings were everywhere in food, on counters, in drawers. Sometimes layers thick. I told the Director at the Women's Center that I could no longer eat contaminated food. She told me that I must eat it if I want to continue staying at the shelter. I almost blacked out from low-blood sugar after having not eaten for 3 days.
I just filed a complaint with the bbb. I will file complaints with www.ecfa.org and I am waiting for a followup on a request I made to speak with the media about this charity.
There is absolutely no accountability. Staff does whatever it wants. I aim to peel back the curtains of this shadowy organization and expose what really goes on there! I kept careful daily records while I was there. And there are other women who experienced trauma at the hands of the staff at this shelter. The lives of the vulnerable women they serve is in jeopardy every day and the world needs to know it. This shelter needs to begin doing things differently before they kill someone.
This place is the real deal. I sometimes stop in just to say hello and am always treated kindly and with respect. They don't know who I am and they treat me the same as everyone else who comes there for help. I am always asked to join them for a free meal (tasty and hearty every time) and asked about how I am or if I need help. I don't know where they find all these kind folks who work there, but its got to be divine intervention. I am very proud to help keep their doors open.
Review from Guidestar
Volunteering for the Thanksgiving meal is a very fulfilling way to spend your Thanksgiving morning. They are extremely organized and well prepared.
The Bowery Mission does an amazing job reaching out to New York City's homeless and economically disadvantaged. Not only does it provide shelter and hot meals (three days a week, 365 days a year), it also takes a long-term approach that I find uniquely encouraging. There are separate men and women 'discipleship' programs, which range from 6-18 months. Candidates have permanent housing at the Bowery, receive job skills training, personal/financial counseling, and are assigned a variety of tasks within the Bowery so that they have solid work experience upon leaving the program. The organization also runs Kids with a Promise, a summer camp program for urban children. All in all, a wonderful organization!