EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Throughout March, Eyewitness News is showcasing remarkable women from right here in NEPA. Eyewitness News anchor Kelly Byrne sits down with one of our four finalists from our Remarkable Women competition.
“My goal is to make sure everyone gets the help that they need.”
For Raquel Maldonado her work – isn’t just a job. As coordinator of Ruth’s Place, an emergency shelter for women in Luzerne County, Maldonado ensures women get the assistance they need to find permanent housing.
“I run the shelter, basically I’m on call 24/7. They’ll call me in the middle of the night if there’s a crisis situation going on,” said Maldonado.
It’s dedication to a cause that changes the lives of hundreds of women each year.
“She treats the residents of the shelter like she would a family member,” said Crystal Kotlowski, who nominated Maldonado.
Kotlowski has worked Maldonado for almost a decade and nominated her as one of the most remarkable women in our region.
“She’s such an inspiring person and she doesn’t get a lot of attention for it. She’s not the face of Ruth’s Place, but she’s there every day. She’s committed to what we’re doing.”
That commitment goes well beyond basic duties. Maldonado is responsible for numerous tasks at the shelter which includes picking up food for the women each week.
Maldonado says homelessness can happen to anyone and offers this advice to those who find themselves in that situation.
“Don’t feel alone, we’re here to help. Everyone can get through this. It’s hard in the beginning, but don’t lose help.”
The women she assists say, during difficult times, she’s a beacon of hope.
“It makes me feel great because my goal is to generally get the help that they need when they leave the shelter. It feels good seeing them smile, walking out the door, having their keys to the apartment, securing housing,” Maldonado said.