Support safety, health and hope for those healing from domestic violence, sexual assault, and other crime victimization. Many of our clients also struggle with homelessness, mental illness, substance use, and other traumatic life experiences. Your gift helps survivors access emergency and long-term affordable housing; peer-to-peer & counseling-based advocacy; and legal/educational/employment resources. More than that, it inspires those who encounter barriers on their journeys toward rebuilding their lives to keep trying despite the challenges.
Take a short walk with a family rebuilding their lives after domestic violence: A mom with two children contacts Dove House late at night via our 24/7 Crisis Line and explains that she is feeling unsafe from her abusive spouse. Because of individual donations, our Advocates are able to arrange for her and her children to stay in a hotel room overnight. In the morning, she meets with an Advocate to do a lethality assessment and create a safety plan; it becomes clear that she needs continuing emergency shelter. As the family left home abruptly and in fear, they need food, clothing, and personal hygiene products.
The family’s initial days in our shelter are spent recovering from the trauma of violence and dislocation and attending to the practicalities of children moving to a new school and appointments to access services. With 24-hour access to their room and shared common spaces and all basic needs provided, the shelter becomes their temporary home. Mom meets with her advocate at least weekly, and children are offered their own, separate, Advocate if they wish. They will all struggle with a range of emotions including shame, grief, and anger as they process the changes in their life circumstances and encounter barriers.
Dove House Advocates listen without judgement, offer emotional support, and connect her with services and resources to help her reach her goals. The family continues to regain emotional health, perhaps with the help of a therapist provided with funding from Dove House and/or in conjunction with participation in one of our support groups.
Services are wrap-around, person-centered, trauma-informed,
confidential and (thanks to your donations) 100% free of charge
Over the next weeks and months, mom will set her own goals such as searching for long-term housing and employment and/or obtaining childcare and needed documents. She may have to cope with attempts by her spouse to locate and intimidate her or her children. Survivors of domestic violence have often been extremely isolated and without access to the tools for building a self-sufficient life such as a bank account or driver's license. Because of the housing crisis in Jefferson County, it may take this family a year to find an affordable place to live and they may need to move out of the area leaving behind their established support system.
While mom looks for housing, she starts to build a new support system for herself by participating in Recovery Café where she develops healthy relationships in a safe environment. She attends the free community meals and joins a Recovery Circle where she processes her daily life challenges with peers who have similar experiences. Getting her food worker card and volunteering at the RC kitchen is one option she explores as she looks ahead to the next steps on her family’s journey. When this family is able to find an affordable home, Dove House will be available to assist with move-in costs thanks to your donations.
Clients may stay in, and return to, Dove House services for as long as they need to.