A women’s shelter in Ennis, Haven of Hope for Women, has opened its doors for those in immediate need of housing. Since the remodeling began in May, it has doubled in housing quarters but is in need of equipment and volunteer services.

With two wings of housing and each room holding up to four people, Haven of Hope for Women can comfortably sleep 100 women and children. Each room is equipped with comfortable beds, a microwave, mini-fridge, dresser, closet and half-bath.

Kimberly Malone, director and founder of Haven of Hope for women said, “If I needed a place to stay, I’d want to stay here. This brings joy to my heart because I can see the women that have nowhere to go here. [...] That was the main goal was to get them to know that they are loved and they don’t have to settle for anything less.”

Malone explained the shelter is open for women and children who are homeless and need a safe environment to get back up on their feet. During their stay, guests will have a secure, homey-living situation, food and an abundance of services to aid them in living outside of the shelter.

Some of the services include work-search assistance, GED completion and counseling.

Other than housing, the shelter offers a chapel, kitchen, shower facilities, washer and dryer facilities, exercise room, salon, playground area, prayer garden, recreational room and office spaces to work.

Malone pointed at a notepad of about 10 names and said, “I’m calling these women now. If they need a place to stay, I will take them in tonight.”

To apply for a living situation, women need to fill out an application and allow time for a background check. During this process, a drug test may be administered as well. The turn around time on an application to grant housing is almost immediate, Malone said.

Malone added those with a criminal past or if a woman is recently released from jail and needed a place to stay, she is willing to take them in under some circumstances.

“If you just got out of jail and you come to me and say to me, ‘I’ve made up my mind that I want to do better, I need a job, I need help getting back up on my feet,’" she said. "I wouldn’t turn you away because that’s part of the thing that I asked the lord for.”

Malone added, “As long as they are not on drugs or alcohol but have been abused and want a better life for themselves and they are trying to find a way and they don’t have one. We encourage them to get back up on their feet.”

The estimated stay for a woman is three months. After that time, Malone will conduct an evaluation to see if the woman needs more time and assistance, adding not every woman needs the full 90 days.

Malone said that she’s stood in a lot of these women’s shoes because she’s been in a situation where she didn’t have a roof over her head. She explained how she was once homeless, sleeping in her car, with her children.

It was a situation similar to hers that gave Malone the idea to start the women’s shelter. While at Lions Park, she noticed a woman with three children. After Malone got to know her, she explained how her husband kicked them out of the house without any clothes or food.

At that moment, Malone saw herself in that woman and prayed to move forward with the women’s shelter.

“God has given us a second chance to heal broken hearts, help the children, abused women and children,” Malone said.

Even though Haven of Hope for Women is beginning to house women and children, it is still in need of a little equipment in order to adequately function. At this time, Malone is able to provide services to the few women and children housed but once the shelter fills up, she’ll need more volunteers.

Some services the shelter is in need of are counselors, cooks, hair stylists and people to teach classes to help encourage the women. In order to fulfill services already in place, the shelter is in need of computers or laptops.

To donate or volunteer with Haven of Hope for Women, visit havenofhopeforwomen.org or call (972)-876-3211. Checks can be made payable to “Haven of Hope For Women” and mailed to P.O. Box 8407 Ennis, Texas, 75120.

To apply for housing, women can apply directly at the More Than Conquerors School of Theology building which also serves as Haven of Hope shelter, located at 1107 S. Clay St.