Sanctuary: Kip Tiernan and Rosie's Place, the Nation's First Shelter for Women

Sanctuary: Kip Tiernan and Rosie's Place, the Nation's First Shelter for Women
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Release Date
March 01, 2022
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Before Kip Tiernan came along, the US had no shelters for women. Here is the inspirational story of a singular woman and what her vision and compassion have brought to life.

“Justice is not three hots and a cot. Justice is having your own key.”—Kip Tiernan

When Kip Tiernan was growing up during the Great Depression, she’d help her granny feed the men who came to their door asking for help. As Kip grew older, and as she continued to serve food to hungry people, she noticed something peculiar: huddled at the back of serving lines were women dressed as men. At the time, it was believed that there were no women experiencing homelessness. And yet Kip would see women sleeping on park benches and searching for food in trash cans. Kip decided to open the first shelter for women—a shelter with no questions asked, no required chores, just good meals and warm beds. With persistence, Kip took on the city of Boston in her quest to open Rosie's Place, our nation's first shelter for women.

Christine McDonnell, a former educator at Rosie’s Place, and illustrator Victoria Tentler-Krylov bring warmth to Kip Tiernan's story of humanity and tenacity, showing readers how one person's dream can make a huge difference, and small acts of kindness can lead to great things.

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1 review
Sanctuary: Kip Tiernan and Rosie's Place, the Nation's First Shelter for Women
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What worked: True story of Kip Tiernan and her message of compassion and empathy for the homeless. This story moved me so much. It starts when Kip was young and helped her grandmother in a soup station during the Great Depression. Kip learned from her grandmother to have compassion for those who were in need.

The illustrations add to this powerful picture book's message that small acts of kindness can in fact lead to great things. I loved how the author shows Kip when she was younger and then how she noticed how women would dress as men at shelters because there were no such places for them to go to. Kip fought to make a difference. I loved this quote:

"Sometimes all you need is just plain stubborn hope."

Kip clung to that hope even when she had a hard time getting funding to open a shelter for women. It was through her stubborn persistence she was able to open Rosie's Place in Boston. The first shelter for women.

As a former first-grade teacher, I love not only the illustrations but the message that Tiernan had of not only having empathy for those less fortunate but that little acts of kindness do matter.

Strong, powerful story of Kip Tiernan and her quest to open a women's shelter when there were none.
Good Points
1. Powerful true story of Kip Tiernan and her story of compassion
2. "Sometimes all you need is just plain stubborn hope."
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