Professor Gabriel Smith
The programs offered within domestic violence shelters are critical to the survival of some, and these programs provide a valuable service to those desperately in need. Domestic violence shelters provide refuge to those suffering from abuse within their home. They fill a void for those that desperately need an escape from a violent situation or form a situation that can simply be overwhelming in many ways. “Our mission is to provide homeless mothers and their children with safe housing and the opportunities to transition to successful, independent living”(Hope House, 2014). “Hope House is funded through private donations and private, local, state, and federal grants. We are well established within our community with a strong presence and a good reputation for success.”(Hope House, 2014). The economy has punished many people’s wallets, and with donations lower than they have ever been we can always take additional donations no matter how small. Furthermore, we can accept gently used clothing, toys, food items, etc. to provide to these women and children. We are also in need of volunteers. Despite the fact that most people are juggling more than one job or simply trying to supplement their income any way possible, most people do see the joy and benefits of volunteering their time to a worthy cause. “Shelter programs provide a complex array of services tovictims of abuse and their children;most prominent are safety,information,help with children and help with emotional distress. Most needs are met for most residents,and most problems are resolved”(Lyon, Lane, & Menard, 2008). Despite all of the needs of the clients domestic violence shelters provide services to, there is still a shortage of help for those in need. “Domestic violence is a social epidemic that touches the lives of women (and men in some cases) of all ages, races, religions, educational backgrounds and socioeconomic status. No one is totally immune and although most people want to think it only affects others, these victims could be your mother, daughter, sister, best friend or co-worker”(Family Service Association of Howard County, 2011). If you consider the fact that a woman is beaten every nine seconds by a former or current intimate partner, that totals over 22 million attacks per year and you more than likely know at least one of these victims and are unaware of their trials and tribulations. The health issues addressed by our organization a very diverse, and they require attention from varied professionals. At its most base form we care for the nutritional needs of these women and their children. This occurs through the provision of food and drink to keep them healthy. Furthermore, we provide a place for them to stay and bathe to keep them hygienically healthy. The women and their children may also need to be checked for medical conditions as a result of physical violence. “According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, 92% of victim service providers have seen an increased demand in the last year, but 84% reported that cutbacks in funding were directly affecting their work”(National Network to End Domestic Violence, 2010). This impacts the services domestic violence shelters are able to provide to the victims. Additionally, the children and their mother may need counseling as an attempt to heal the emotional and mental wounds they received through homelessness and abuse. All of these services require different professionals to care for these women and their children. Fundamentally, a program like this would have unlimited growth potential and never have a waiting list, but sadly there isn’t unlimited room and there is a waiting list. The selection process is difficult because of so much demand and so little supply.
“Potential Hope House residents must first be referred to our program by a community