WA: Muslim Women’s Shelter Needs Help


Aug. 19--Paperwork that included the names and Social Security numbers of visitors to a newly opened domestic violence center in Tacoma were stolen along with the center's car last week.

Asma Simmons, executive director of Sisters of Sunnah Islamic Services of Tacoma, said Saturday that she'd parked the Dodge Neon outside her house after attending a religious meeting Wednesday.

Less than 20 minutes later, the car was gone, she said.

Along with the car was a box of paperwork, including volunteer applications and the names and Social Security numbers of visitors to the center.

"We had all of our paperwork in the back of our car," Simmons said.

She reported the theft to Tacoma police, who later received a report that a car of the same description was involved in a drive-by shooting, according to police spokesman Mark Fulghum.

Fulghum said Simmons' car was found abandoned, with what could be a bullet hole in the back window.

The car was returned to her Friday. But the paperwork was gone, putting the victims and volunteer applicants in jeopardy, and setting the center back, Simmons said. The car, she said, was a total loss.

Because the center hasn't secured funding yet, Simmons said she'd bought the car herself with cash, since her religion bars her from buying on credit. She said she bought only minimum insurance, so she's lost the car and also had to pay out-of-pocket for the towing.

"It's a crisis situation," she said. "We don't have any way to get around.

"We're doing something in the Muslim community that has never been done," Simmons said. "This is really run by women for women with women giving the money.". . .

To contact Sisters of Sunnah Islamic Services, call Asma Simmons at 253-389-0830, or e-mail sistersofsunnah islamicservices@yahoo.com Niki Sullivan: 253-597-8658

 


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