Dear Friends of SAFEHOME,
Thank you again for your generous support to help SAFEHOME expand services to meet the growing need for life-saving shelter and counseling for victims of domestic violence in our community. I am pleased to let you know that lives are being saved and changed as a result of this project!
With your support for the capital campaign, SAFEHOME successfully:
– Enlarged the Children’s Center to better accommodate infants and provide creative art space
– Opened 4 additional shelter bedrooms and increased capacity from 45 to 60 beds
– Opened 4 additional counseling rooms and renovated existing therapeutic space
– Re-configured the reception area to increase security and confidentiality
Thanks to these changes, the impact on clients has been significant:
– 25% more adults and children received therapeutic counseling in 2015 than in 2014
– 28% fewer people had to be referred elsewhere because the shelter was full
– 21% more children experienced therapeutic support and play in the Children’s Center
Pet Project Update:
When SAFEHOME launched the capital campaign in 2013, one of the goals was to remove pet safety concerns as a barrier to victims needing emergency shelter by building an on-site pet shelter. SAFEHOME received estimates from contractors, talked to local and national sources about building and maintaining pet shelters, and developed a thorough and thoughtful approach to adding this feature to the existing shelter. In May of 2016, however, the pet shelter no longer appears to be the best way to accomplish the original goal.
Since launching the campaign, city and state code restrictions have been significantly tightened, and we have learned that our location over a storm sewer raises environmental issues. The budget that was carefully developed for building a pet shelter has nearly tripled, to over $300,000, and the architects have advised us that annual operating costs will be very high.
SAFEHOME’s staff and Board of Directors remain committed to removing pet safety concerns as a barrier to shelter for victims and their children. It is clear, however, that we must seek more cost-effective options to achieve that goal. We are currently in conversation with Great Plains SPCA to explore collaborative long-term alternatives to an on-site shelter, including solutions that will better safeguard the animals’ health and increase the owners’ safety.
In the interim, Great Plains SPCA is providing shelter and foster services for clients’ pets, thereby removing pet safety as a barrier for women and children seeking shelter and ensuring the health and safety of the animals. A recent situation illustrates the impact of this collaboration:
Rosie* had been afraid to leave her dog at home with her abusive husband because he had threatened to hurt the dog if she and the children left. Thanks to the partnership between SAFEHOME and Great Plains SPCA, Rosie, her children, and her dog were all able to access safe shelter and leave the abuse. With support from SAFEHOME’s shelter and counseling programs, Rosie and her children are re-building their lives without domestic violence and were recently reunited with their dog in safe housing. *Not her real name
As a contributor to SAFEHOME’s capital campaign and facility expansion, you can be very proud of the life-saving changes your support has helped accomplish. Thank you for your partnership with SAFEHOME and your commitment to breaking the cycle of domestic violence.
Janee’ M. Hanzlick, LMSW