Violence is a community issue that arises in all communities, big and small. As you may already be aware of, COVID-19 has increased more than just stress and financial worry: it also increased incidents of domestic violence and other crimes. Currently, Sarah's Friends has experienced an increase in caseload of over 68%.
We need everyone's help and support to end violence and assist those currently being victimized in our own county.
Sarah's Friends is a Williams County non-profit organization dedicated in the mission to empower survivors of crime to heal emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Serving more than 175 individuals each year, we strive to provide a continuum of care, from initial crisis contact to long-term supportive housing, in a manner that promotes individual and family safety, autonomy, and dignity. Services available include trauma-informed advocacy, case management services, supportive transitional and permanent housing, emergency financial assistance, peer-to-peer group support, and community education and training. Our 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. Here is a story of a survivor in our community:
Susan was stuck in an abusive marriage she felt hopeless in. For over a decade, the verbal putdowns, manipulative and controlling behavior, and physical assaults had her feeling there was no way out. With limited individual income and constant financial control, Susan felt trapped. After being referred to Sarah’s Friends by a friend, Susan received assistance completing a danger assessment, creating a safety plan, and discussing her options and individual goals. Through advocacy and referrals, she received emotional guidance and support from staff and obtained legal assistance for a divorce through Legal Aid. She received assistance locating and obtaining safe, independent housing through the help of the rapid rehousing assistance program which provided the funding for her deposit and first month’s rent. Assisting her immediate needs, she also received a gas voucher and food voucher through the emergency financial assistance program. Susan also attended and participated in the monthly women’s support group during her transition and adjustment period.
After moving on from the Sarah’s Friends programs, Susan mailed a thank you card that stated, “Without your services and staff I would still be living in my nightmare. I cannot thank you enough. I pray that your organization continues to be richly blessed and for every person to find the courage to get out! I have my life back thanks to you!”
We ask that, if able, you partner with us this year by considering a sponsorship. Currently, Sarah's Friends works with an active caseload of over 100 families. In the effort to ensure there is enough funding to continue to support the organization's programs, we are utilizing this Sponsor-A-Family campaign and hope to raise funding to sponsor at least a quarter of our families.
Thank you in advance for your support and partnership of our mission. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those in our own community!