The purpose for the VVS Outreach Center is provide support for domestic and sexual violence survivors who do not need emergency shelter. It’s a beautiful building that provides a welcoming, safe, and confidential space for survivors to share their personal experiences and particular needs.
Advocates provide safety planning, support groups, case management, intensive advocacy, transportation, self-care support, emotional support, and education about domestic violence and sexual assault.
Often clients will need assistance with meeting basic needs such as emergency food, clothing, shoes for the children, backpacks, and school supplies. Most of these items are provided thanks to local donations and partnerships with other local agencies. For instance, Dick’s Sporting Goods donated hundreds of shoes for adults and children to the VVS a couple of years ago. The Sanctuary has donors who will provide new backpacks and new school supplies annually, making these items available year-round for our clients.
Additionally, advocates help survivors assess their needs, identify their options, find resources, apply for jobs, set goals, and address housing issues. Services also include referrals to medical, mental, and emotional health providers and other community resources.
Christmas can be a time of increased distress for families dealing with the aftermath of domestic violence. “One Christmas, I needed help really really badly. I was dealing with a separation from my ex-husband. Life was stressful. I needed help. The Outreach Center Advocates provided us with totes of items like scarves, makeup, lotion, household items, blankets, as well as generous gifts for my two younger children and my eldest daughter and myself. I was very grateful they could be there for us.” – Allison, previous client.