By Naazish YarKhan
In April 2017, ICNA Relief Chicago received zoning approval from the Village of Glendale Heights for a three unit apartment building to be used as a transitional shelter for women who are victims of domestic violence. “We are so happy our duas and efforts have been fruitful and right before Ramadan, mashaAllah. Our next step is raising the balance to pay for the building” said Sr. Saima Azfar, Director, ICNA Relief Chicago.
ICNA Relief’s Transitional Shelter, a Muslim Family Services initiative, provides victims of domestic violence a place to live her, food from the ICNA Relief food pantry, and case management services that include driving lessons, financial literacy training, job training, moral support, and counseling.
Local mosques currently are referring 2-3 homeless women each month to ICNA Relief Chicago. One victim of domestic violence was referred to ICNA Relief Chicago by a local non-profit agewncy, once her residency at that agency’s shelter had expired. With no ability to return to her parents, she had nowhere to go. ICNA Relief’s Transitional Shelter provided her with the opportunity to live with dignity.
Sr. Azfar stated that “our imam’s and our masjids must use their platform to raise awareness of these issues in our community where our sisters are left homeless, whether from domestic violence, divorce, or unemployment…”
Read the full article in the Ramadan/June issue of the Chicago Crescent!