Founder Testimonial – Helen Spiegel
Helen Spiegel Testimonial
When Rabbi Mark Wilson spoke to Helen Spiegel in 1983 about homeless women in Atlanta and the need for a women’s shelter, she didn’t know the profound effect this conversation would have on her life. It was the beginning of a new chapter in her life — to lead other compassionate and dedicated souls to create the Shearith Israel Shelter for Homeless Women. Helen knew from personal experience how it felt to lose a home. As a refugee from Germany who escaped the Nazis and came to the United States, she knew how it terrible it was to be displaced and adrift. Little did she know, though, that she would become a supreme organizer, networker, shoulder to cry on and crusader for women in need of shelter, understanding and support.It was a new world of very hard realities, she recalled. Our plan was to provide a family atmosphere for these women, but it was unlike any family we had known, Helen remembers. “We learned to check for weapons and eventually to become much more selective to find women who we could really help.”Helen and her husband Frank devoted 18 years to running the shelter and to helping create stability and hope for homeless women in Atlanta.