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FITNESS CENTER FOR LOW-INCOME WOMEN AND HOMELESS ANONYMOUSLY SAVED

FITNESS CENTER FOR LOW-INCOME WOMEN AND HOMELESS ANONYMOUSLY SAVED

Sure, a fitness center can help a person get in shape and feel great. But is it a bit of a stretch for someone to describe her gym as “life-saving”?

Not necessarily — if the gym in question is Healthworks at St. Mary’s, in the Dorchester area of Boston. Since 2002, this small gym has provided completely free memberships to thousands of homeless and very low-income women. Many members struggle with diabetes, high-blood pressure and obesity. Some contend with mental illnesses and mood disorders. Almost all deal with crushing, chronic stress, and the gym can be their one safe place to alleviate it.

Against this backdrop, it’s easy to understand just how devastated the gym’s 450 regular members were when they learned last month that St. Mary’s had to close its doors for financial reasons.

“With the economy what it is right now, we’ve really taken a hit and we’ve been operating at a deficit,” said Monica Frender, 29, site director for Healthworks at St. Mary’s. “The plan was to close for the summer.”

When closing day arrived, members milled about the gym in a daze. Where would they go now? How would they cope? Women hugged and cried. They exchanged phone numbers, fearing their friendships might disintegrate in the chaotic months to come. (more)

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Article by LAURA T. COFFEY, USA Today | Read full article here

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1 comment (Add your own)

1. workout supplements wrote:
I love fitness. It helped me to loss weighta nd mantain me fit.

Tue, October 4, 2011 @ 6:32 AM

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