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I have volunteered for Safehouse Center, in Ann Arbor, Mi, for over a decade. It is a lifesaving organization focused on strengthening community by offering hope to those suffering with domestic violence and/or sexual assault. This is what inspired my article, which I posted in November of 2009, It speaks to the heart of the need of the organization for donations of both time and money.
If you or anyone you know are local to Washtenaw county and you are in this situation, call the Safehouse Center helpline phone# (734) 995-5444. It is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. They will listen to you and provide options to help empower you! If you are not local to southeastern Michigan, they have resource information for other DV shelters.
Generosity is critical especially when times are tight
For almost 35 years, Safehouse has been advocating support for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Kathy Winterhalter, Volunteer & Intern Coordinator at the center communicated, “We help empower participants to learn to regain control; make their own decisions and create their own futures.” She said very passionately, “We don’t use the label victim, the service participants are a victim only in the moment of the crime, one moment later they become a survivor!”
The ripple effect of the economy has impacted this organization as it has many other non-profits; their staff has been cut in half, down to approximately 30 members, making the need for their 150 active volunteers a must. Last year they logged over 20,000 volunteer hours. The center offers shelter, an on-site clinic, 24 hour immediate on-call response, help-line, counseling, support groups and legal advocacy; last year they helped over 4,400 survivors.
The compassionate people of Washtenaw County passed the millage that enabled the construction of their building back in 1993. This non-profit organization devotes its efforts towards developing communities free of domestic violence and sexual assault. The 50-bed shelter was designed specifically for the needs of their survivors; deserving souls suffering through unimaginable circumstances.
Safehouse Center is counting on the community’s generosity, even more so during these trying times. Kathy remarked, “The powerful teamwork of staff, volunteers and community donors helps us give survivors what they need and deserve!”