Financial trouble could leave women in shelter without a home

<p>The economic situation gripping the nation has extended its clutch to a new target: a charitable organization that houses about 60 women with mental and physical health problems.

The Marian Residence for Women, a subsidiary of the St. Anthony Foundation, will close its doors this summer, leaving the women scrambling to find a new place to live.

A private entity, St. Anthony Foundation is reliant on donations. Although this year’s charitable alms are consistent with past amounts, the fear that people will soon tighten their spending has forced the organization to restructure its priorities.

“Any organization with the longevity of St. Anthony’s is going to periodically assess our program’s needs,” said Francis Aviani, a spokeswoman for the organization. “It’s a painful process, but we have to take into consideration future economic developments.”

Along with providing a bed, the Marian Residence offers three meals a day and employs on-site case workers for its patrons, Aviani said. The shelter is intended to be a transitional residence, and any woman who stays longer than six months is evaluated for appropriateness.

The program’s case workers will work extensively with the displaced women to help them get into affordable-housing units or other shelters before the Marian Residence officially shuts its doors Aug. 31, Aviani said.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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