Constance Collins Margulies guides Lotus House in Overtown to shelter homeless women and children, banks on endowment
Constance Collins Margulies remembers the first time she saw a homeless person — she was 13 — and it left an indelible mark. "How can any of us be happy as long as one of us lives like this," she wondered at the time. Nearly 40 years later, she has become a champion for homeless women and children in Miami-Dade.
Lotus House Women's Shelter opened three years ago in Miami's Overtown — an area many Lotus House residents call home. While community in-kind support remains strong, the current economic climate has led to financial difficulties. To help make ends meet, the shelter recently opened the Lotus House Thrift Shop near the Design District. "We are still in the infancy stages of it but it's one way we're trying to respond to what's happening out there in the economy," she says.
Moving forward, Ms. Margulies hopes to get up and running a small volunteer health clinic. Long term, she is banking on a recently started endowment to help sustain the clinic into perpetuity. "Just making it through the next five years will be an important goal for us, and beyond that we hope the shelter will be here as a resource for generations to come," she says. From the courtyard at Lotus House's Overtown operation, Ms. Margulies discussed her philanthropic calling with Miami Today staff writer Scott E. Pacheco.
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