View Printable Version :: Email to a Friend
The Dilemma of Homeless Muslim Women and Children in the USA
Social Issues
Michelle Al-Nasr


You may have seen pictures of homeless people who live on the streets, but the thought may have never entered your mind that some of those homeless people could be Muslims, particularly Muslim women. In fact, there has been a noted increase in homelessness among Muslim women and their children in recent years due to the amount of American women converting to Islam and women being brought into the United States from overseas.

Sister Jamīlah Ibrāhīm, a 50-year-old ex-correctional officer and former shelter worker who is now the dorm mother for the H.O.M.S. Shelter (a temporary shelter for Muslim women and their children) states that the most common causes for Muslim women who face homelessness in the United States are:

1. Women who have converted to Islam struggling with complete rejection from their non-Muslim families when they embrace Islam, and as a result, it leaves them with no family or friend to turn to when in need.

2. Women who have married men from overseas and have been abandoned after the man has received his green card, even though they are practicing Muslimahs.

3. Single and older women who live from paycheck to paycheck and become ill and unable to pay their rent and living expenses.

4. Women from overseas who do not speak English, have no job skills and are forced to assume the role of providing for the household.

5. Women who are subject to severe physical abuse.

Sister Jamīlah Ibrāhīm went on to add: ‘Typically, most of these women also have young children.’

The options that these women face can be disastrous to not only their religion, but also to themselves and their children’s safety. The majority of all shelters in the United States are funded and operated by Christian missionaries. ‘These shelters provide no privacy for women. They are forced into groups with men, even in the sleeping arrangements. They only provide a place to go at night, but during the day, everyone is back out on the streets, no matter how cold it is. Also, these shelters invite them to Bible classes and prayer groups regularly.’ said Sister Tāniyah ‘Abdu’l-Rahmān, the Director of the H.O.M.S. Shelter.

Alhamdulillāh, there is a solution to this crisis and one that is being implemented. A non-profit organization called H.O.M.S. (Housing Outreach for Muslim Sisters) was founded in May of 1999 in Arlington, Texas. The H.O.M.S. shelter offers homeless Muslim women and their children with a safe Islamic living environment, transportation, Islamic education, Islamic clothing, and job training (including training to work from home). H.O.M.S. also assists sisters who wish to marry (after they compete their ‘Iddah, if necessary) in finding a practicing Muslim husband. Residents are required to follow detailed guidelines, which include adhering to the Qur’ān and the Sunnah in their manners, dress and daily living, in addition to working on a plan of action that will enable them to support themselves and their children in future, if marriage is not an option.

All residents are first screened, and references are checked before they are allowed to move into the facility. ‘Screening is necessary to ensure the safety of all residents and references are essential to verify each situation. We want to help as many sisters who are genuinely needy as we possibly can.’ explained H.O.M.S. board member, Sister Susan Ellenberg. Currently, the H.O.M.S. shelter houses up to 5 women and their children, and is located in a temporary rented building. H.O.M.S. is presently attempting to raise sufficient funds to purchase a permanent facility with a security system, which will house up to 50 women and their children. The goal of their project is to raise at least $200,000 for a permanent shelter. The Qur’ān urges us to help the needy:

It is not piety that you turn your faces toward east or west; but piety is [the quality of] the one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the Angels, the Books, the Prophets and gives his wealth, in spite of love for it, to the kinsfolk, orphans, the poor and to the wayfarer, and to those who ask…  (2:177)

In the past, Muslim women have had no place to turn for assistance in this country. A 32-year-old former resident of the H.O.M.S. shelter embraced Islam 4 years ago and had lost her job. ‘It gave us (the residents) a place to go in an Islamic environment and also gave us the ability to work on ourselves Islamically while we worked to get our lives back on track…’ She had no family to depend on, and had learnt about H.O.M.S. by way of a friend who had seen the H.O.M.S. web site on the Internet. When asked what the shelter meant to her, she simply said: ‘It gives me a feeling of comfort to know that if I ever had a situation again, I know I would have a safe place to go.’

Another sister, 53-year-old Ela Aisha Euins, said that she had also been in similar situations many times. The first time she recalled was shortly after she embraced Islam and had begun wearing the Hijāb. She had married a man who was not a practicing Muslim. ‘He left me by myself and went to his country for 5 years. I was forced to ask for help from the Salvation Army because I didn’t know where else to go.’ H.O.M.S. Director, Sister Tāniyah ‘Abdu’l-Rahmān commented further on the issue, stating: ‘We have had to get sisters with newborn infants out of the Salvation Army. One sister was dropped off at her baby’s doctor’s appointment by her husband and was never picked up or contacted again by him, she did not even speak English.’ 

Many sisters feel embarrassed to go to a mosque for financial aid, and often these women need more than just monetary assistance. Former residents of H.O.M.S. and single sisters who have been in similar situations all stated that they needed emotional and religious support in addition to financial aid when confronted with desperate circumstances. Many sisters mentioned that they felt inferior due to their situation and therefore shy to ask for help. Moreover, some sisters were unaware there was any help available at all. Mosques surveyed are not prepared to handle such situations, and only offered short-term solutions that would not last a woman and her children more than just a few days at best.

Amīnah Minor, the Director of S.A.D.A. (The Sisters Association for Da‘wah in Arlington), a local Muslim women’s organization says: ‘A place like H.O.M.S. gives these women safety, security and a sense of family and belonging, because they are all in similar situations. They are able to share their experiences and give each other encouragement. It is important for Muslim women, especially in America, to get support from one another.’

Christian Churches control almost every homeless shelter in the United States; every one of those shelters house criminals, drug addicts, alcohol abusers, prostitutes and child molesters. It is a fact that these shelters are an extremely dangerous place for adult men, let alone women and children. It is the obligation of every Muslim in the United States and abroad to wake up to this alarming situation that is happening to our sisters in Islam. It is our obligation to take care of these sisters and their young children. The Qur’ān urges us:

So give to the kindred his due, and to the poor and to the wayfarer. That is best for those who seek Allah’s Countenance; and it is they who will be successful. (30:38)

Please assist H.O.M.S. in purchasing a permanent facility by donating at least $100.00

You can help put a safe roof over the heads of your Muslim sisters and their children. Your donation can literally mean the difference between sleeping on the street or in a safe bed.


Postal Address:


P.O. BOX 152611

Arlington, Texas 76015


Direct Deposits and Wire Transfers:

Bank One

Account Number: 1577586991

Routing Number for Wire Transfers and Deposits is: 111000614 – Batch #15460




Call Toll-free: 1-877-335-4667


For Questions on Islam, please use our

Replica Handbags Bottega Veneta fake Bvlgari fake Celine fake Christian Dior fake Gucci fake Gucci Bag fake Gucci Wallet fake Gucci Shoes fake Gucci Belt fake Hermes fake Loewe fake Louis Vuitton fake Louis Vuitton Belt fake Louis Vuitton Calf Leather fake Louis Vuitton Damier Azur Canvas fake Louis Vuitton Damier Ebene Canvas fake Louis Vuitton Damier Graphite Canvas fake Louis Vuitton Damier Infini Leather fake Louis Vuitton Damier Quilt lamb fake Louis Vuitton Embossed Calfskin fake Louis Vuitton Epi fake Louis Vuitton Game On Monogram Canvas fake Louis Vuitton Jewellery fake Louis Vuitton Key Holder fake Louis Vuitton Mahina Leather fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Denim fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Eclipse Canvas fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Empreinte fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Seal fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Shadow fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis fake Louis Vuitton Monogram Watercolor fake Louis Vuitton New Wave fake Louis Vuitton Shoes fake Louis Vuitton Since 1854 fake Louis Vuitton Strap fake Louis Vuitton Taiga Leahter fake Louis Vuitton Taurillon leather fake Louis Vuitton Transformed Game On canvas fake Louis Vuitton Utah Calfskin fake Louis Vuitton X Supreme fake Mulberry fake Prada fake YSL fake