Sarah's Friends' continuum of programs, from emergency to aftercare services, protects and guides survivors and their families from the chaos of crisis back to the stability of community.
TRAUMA-INFORMED CORE PRINCIPLES & VALUES
We promote safety, well-being, and justice for all survivors of crime in Williams County while respecting all survivor's right to self-direction and control over their own lives.
We are accountable to those who are or were victimized and are committed to listening to their voices and using their expertise to guide our work.
We declare that people who victimize-not victims-are accountable for their abusive behavior.
We are committed to facilitating changes necessary to end oppression and violence within ourselves, and written economic, social and political systems.
We are committed to advancing the community's responsibility for stopping the violence.
We are committed to providing comprehensive survivor-centered advocacy across systems of care.
Sarah's Friends provides crisis intervention services which interacts with survivors who are suffering from crisis caused by crime in Williams County, Ohio. This program handles all encounters with survivors in crisis in a manner that promotes the dignity of all people while reflecting the values of protection and safety.
During crisis intervention, Sarah's Friends recognizes the crucial step of safety planning with survivors.
Lethality assessments are also utilized for the purpose of allowing staff to asses the most appropriate intervention or service to offer the survivor; provide a measure to assist the survivor with understanding subtle or hidden abuse within the relationship; and provide an opportunity for staff to provide the survivor with skills to protect themselves in the future.
Sarah's Friends defines advocacy as speaking and acting on behalf of oneself or another person or cause. This program follows a victim-defined model which builds on a partnership between the advocate and the survivor with the survivor guiding, directing, and defining the advocacy.
Through advocacy, the advocate can be involved in supporting and assisting the survivor in a variety of ways including supporting the survivor to ensure their rights are upheld, providing general emotional support and guidance, attending meetings or discussions which may impact the services the survivor receives, and assisting the survivor to provide accurate information to service providers.
The main purpose of case management is to link survivors to resources to address immediate needs and then to broaden to find services for secondary issues. Case management can be provided to any survivor of crime regardless of other program services being utilized.
Case management begins with assistance by program staff to help survivors assess and identify needs and goals as well as identify strengths and assets to achieve those goals. Case management includes both short-term and long-term goals. Once goals are clearly defined by the survivor, staff provides the survivor with possible resources and allows them to choose how they want to work toward achieving their goals. Staff guidance places an emphasis on providing options and guidance rather than overbearing direction.
EMERGENCY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
Emergency Financial Assistance provides one-time financial assistance when needed for areas of immediate need and safety such as short-term emergency stays in a hotel when shelters are at capacity and access to independent housing is not available, food, gasoline, phones and/or phone cards, repairs of broken windows and doors, replacement locks, security cameras, prescription medication when insurance coverage is not available, clothing, and court filing fees related to child safety.
Financial assistance can also be provided to cover the cost of survivor expenses relating to a victimization that without the assistance could create further, more catastrophic problems for the survivor. Examples of these types of expenses are car payments, utilities, or insurance expenses that cannot be paid by the survivor in the short-term resulting from their victimization.
RAPID REHOUSING ASSISTANCE
The purpose of Rapid Rehousing Assistance is to provide survivors the support needed to find or maintain a safe place to reside and help re-establish independent lives away from their abuser. This program strives to meet this purpose by providing short-term rental and utility subsidies along with individualized case management support to survivors in Williams County who are currently facing homelessness due to:
Leaving their housing and seeking shelter to escape a dangerous partner;
Becoming evicted from housing due to batterer's destructive or criminal behavior (damaging property, harassing landlord, failing to pay rent, causing disturbances, etc.);
Not being able to financially afford to remain at the residence once the batterer is removed by means of eviction or public safety effort.
TRANSITIONAL HOUSING ASSISTANCE
Sarah's Friends' Transitional Housing Assistance program has delivered longer-term housing and supportive services to individuals and families affected by domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking for over a decade. These services provide a crucial link in the continuum of care for those experiencing victimization, as transitional housing provides a critical steppingstone toward safety and self-sufficiency for families who have become homeless as a result of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
Transitional Housing Assistance provides family apartments for survivors and their dependents for a minimum of six (6) months with possible extension up to twenty-four (24 ) months. Supportive services are aimed at self-empowerment, improved employment potential, increased opportunities for economic stability, strengthened skills in financial planning, family budgeting, and effective home management.
All units are fully furnished and pet-friendly.
Support groups provide the opportunity for personal growth, socialization, education, prevention and healing. For those healing from trauma, they can also provide a safe place for participants to express themselves, share and normalize experiences, and link with a larger community of peers.
Sarah's Friends' peer support group, Women Encouraging Women, presents many issues including but not limited to how to identify domestic violence and other abuse; defining domestic violence; safety planning; how to leave safely; effects on children; support services; criminal justice response; housing; and the reaction of family, work or community members.
Meetings are currently conducted once per month and are open to past and/or current female program participants.
OUTREACH & PREVENTION
Community education increases the community's awareness of domestic violence and other crimes occurring and how Sarah's Friends' mission addresses the needs of those who have been harmed. Community education also provides information to outside agencies about crime-related issues and resources and referral information to assist with identifying those in need. Outreach assists staff with linking services through case management to assist survivors and providing accurate resource information to individual community members or agencies.
Sarah's Friends provides information on crime as well as services available through the organization to the community members of Williams County, Ohio. Priority is given to agencies that can help identify survivors in need and who provide needed services for the same individuals. Information is provided through presentations, meetings, social media and website streams, and supplying appropriate literature as requested.