YWCA Provides Assistance, Advocacy for Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence Victims

Nonprofit holds open house Oct. 28, urges community action in Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), as proclaimed by President Obama, and locally, the YWCA of Metropolitan Detroit is observing the initiative to build awareness of the nonprofit’s many programs and services for women and children.

As part of the month’s observance, the nonprofit will host “Tribute to Survivors,” an open house fundraiser on October 28, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the YWCA Interim House, currently the only shelter within the city of Detroit providing supportive services to victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

Attendees will experience a day in the life of a domestic violence survivor, tour the facility, hear survivor stories, read the Wall of Remembrance and enjoy refreshments. Guests are encouraged to bring new bed and bath linens, twin sheet sets, blankets and monetary support. Children are welcome to play games and watch movies in the shelter’s Childcare Center as well.

For more information and to RSVP, call (313) 861-5300.

The Detroit Police Department’s Domestic Violence Unit will also host a bowling fundraiser on Oct. 9 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Renaissance Bowling Center in Detroit, with proceeds benefiting YWCA Interim House as well. Tickets are $10. For more information, contact YWCA Interim House at (313) 861-5300.

The YWCA of Metropolitan Detroit will open a new office dedicated to victims of sexual assault later this year at its administrative offices located on Jefferson in Detroit. As advocates for victims, the YWCA works with a variety of government and civic organizations, and welcomes new partnership opportunities. If you would like to inquire about hosting a fundraiser or program site for the YWCA, call (313) 259-9922.

“Our mission is very specific at the YWCA. We are here to empower the victims of domestic violence and sexual assault by providing those affected with complimentary comprehensive quality care, including emergency shelter, counseling, healthcare referrals and advocacy,” said Emma L. Peterson, President & CEO of the YWCA of Metropolitan Detroit.

YWCA Interim House is Detroit’s only women’s shelter dedicated to providing a safe refuge to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. YWCA Interim House operates a 24-hour crisis hotline at (313) 861-5300. Admittance into the program is on a first come, first served basis, not income-based.

“We have some women come to us in the middle of the night, with nothing but the clothes on their back and a child at their side. Others sneak away during the day, and have enough time to pack a few essentials but little else before escaping their home,” Peterson said.

While there, residents and their children are provided with food, clothing, shelter, counseling and additional support services for up to 90 days. “At YWCA Interim House, we help survivors realize their ability to not just take back, but actually regain, control of their lives,” Peterson said.

When Interim House opened in 1979, it was one of the first domestic violence shelters in the state of Michigan.

Since 1979, the YWCA of Metropolitan Detroit’s Interim House has given women and children who have fled domestic and sexual violence not just a place to stay, but a place to regain their former selves.

For nearly 120 years the YWCA of Metropolitan Detroit has been working to improve the lives of women, children and families in southeast Michigan, and remains focused on mission-based programming implemented in the community. The YWCA also operates licensed after-school programs based in private/charter schools in Wayne County. These programs, which are based on the curriculum of the schools in which they operate, act as an extension of the school day.

As a nonprofit, the organization relies on a variety of public and private funding, including donations from the community at large.

“Please know that your gift really can make a difference. While we do receive funding from various sources, it simply isn’t enough to support everyone who comes to us for help. Nationally, more than 9,500 requests for this kind of assistance went unmet in the U.S., mostly due to funding shortfalls,” Peterson said.

Any donation, large or small, can make a difference in the lives of women and children in need in metro Detroit. Consider this:

o   $50 can provide a night of shelter

o   $100 can provide three meals a day for a week to a family of four at Interim House.

o   $1,800 can provide one child with one semester of afterschool programming.

o   $2,500 can provide 90 days of shelter at Interim House.

For more information or to donate to the YWCA, call (313) 259-9922, or send a check to 985 East Jefferson Ave., Detroit, MI 48207.

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