Guest blog by: Karen Wullaert DeKett, MA, LLPC, HAVEN Therapist
I am proud of the work that my colleagues and I do at HAVEN. I’ve seen firsthand how our interactions with survivors can be life-changing. I’ve heard countless times from clients that before talking to someone at HAVEN, they felt completely alone and hopeless.
The work HAVEN does to help survivors of domestic and sexual violence is important, but sometimes it feels like we are limited in what we can do. The needs of our clients often exceed the resources and options we can offer them as a single agency. In moments like these, I am grateful for the relationships we have with other community agencies. HAVEN is fortunate to have many community partners who recognize that domestic and sexual violence can create immense upheaval and chaos in an individual’s life. These partners are there for our clients when their needs are beyond the scope of our services.
One client that comes to mind is Janice. Janice was a 30-something mother of four who had recently broken up with an abusive partner. As is often the case, the abuse didn’t stop when the relationship ended. Janice’s ex-partner would frequently drive by her house, follow her when she and her children left, and park in various areas of her neighborhood. She would come home and her mailbox would be open or a garbage can would be knocked over. Although to an outsider these were seemingly small occurrences, to her they sent a powerful message; you are not safe.
It was clear that Janice needed to find new, safe housing. Janice was a fulltime student who had recently picked up a part-time job. She would not only need assistance finding safe, affordable housing; she would also need some financial assistance so she could afford new housing until she could get back on her feet. I referred Janice to Community Housing Network.
Community Housing Network listened to Janice and took her concerns and the needs of her and her family seriously. They helped her find a new home where they could feel safe and live without fear. They also helped her pay for her rent and utilities until she could afford it on her own.
HAVEN’s community partners are there for survivors when they need help filling in the gaps. From housing resources to legal assistance, from employment aid to food and clothing donations, our community partners support our clients on their journeys to independence and empowerment. I look forward to future without domestic and sexual violence. Until that day comes to fruition, I am grateful for all of the community agencies in Oakland County who support HAVEN’s mission and the survivors we serve. Thank you.
If you or someone you know needs help, we are available 24-hours per day, 7-days per week. Please call our free Crisis and Support Line at 877-922-1274 or visit http://www.haven-oakland.org for more information.