Recent News

Safe Places: Providing a ‘Guardian Angel’ to a Family Need of a Home

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Caroline first heard of Christian Relief Services’ Safe Places from her neighbor and friend Kathy who was a client in the program.

Little did she know at that time that she would ultimately end up as a Safe Places client herself.

It wasn’t until one day when she was seven months pregnant with their second child and

he struck her, requiring her to get stitches, and she knew it was time to get out of the relationship.

With her 5-year-old daughter in tow, Caroline fled to a domestic violence shelter not knowing how long she would be staying there, hoping and praying that she would not have a child while living in a shelter.

Caroline reached out to Safe Place, contacting Safe Places Project Director Amanda Moyer, MSW, herself.

“Amanda responded immediately,” said Caroline. “That was like the best thing ever.”

Amanda understood that time was of the essence and she was going to do everything in her power to prevent Caroline from giving birth while living at a shelter.

“Bringing a newborn back to the shelter – that would be the worst,” said Caroline.

Amanda was aware of a Safe Places property – a three-bedroom townhouse – that was being vacated that would be perfect for Caroline and her two children.

The problem was usually there is a period of at least a couple of weeks to prepare a residence for the new resident.

“We were rushing to turn this one around,” says Amanda.

Without Safe Places Caroline doesn’t know where she would be today.

“I have absolutely no idea,” she says.

What she does know is that because of the Safe Places program, and the encouragement she received from Amanda following that first phone call, she never felt that she might have no choice but to ultimately return back to her abuser.

She is also especially grateful to Amanda for everything she’s done, stepping up way beyond the call of duty, from day one.

“Amanda is my guardian angel,” says Caroline today. “That’s because of Safe Places.”

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Donations Galore!!!!

Safe Places staff spent the last two days picking up donations throughout
Fairfax and Loudoun Counties. Some things were delivered to families right away,
but we’re also excited to announce that we have rented a
Safe Places Storage Unit!
We’d like to THANK The Arbors at Broadlands in Broadlands, VA
for their extremely generous donation of furniture and household items!
We also need to publicly thank Gretchen Hamm for connecting us with so many kind people!

One (wo)man’s trash really is another (wo)man’s treasure!

 

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Girl Scout Cookies!

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Safe Places received a donation of delicious Girl Scout Cookies from Troop 2340!

Case managers can’t wait to take the boxes of cookies to each family and see the children’s faces light up.

The Girl Scouts also had a blast coloring this adorable poster for the program. Staff put a smaller version

of the poster on the back of each box of cookies to share with the receiving family.

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Donations Needed!

Safe Places accepts donations of new or gently used women’s and children’s clothing as well as some furniture. Please email or call us to find out what we are currently in need of!

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Stuffed Animal Donation!

We would like to thank an individual donor who gave Safe Places a large
donation of stuffed animals recently! We have been handing out stuffed
animals to the children in the program throughout our home visits, but
will also set some aside for birthdays, etc.

Here is just a glimpse of some of the stuffed animals that were given!

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DV Network Participation

Safe Places staff has been participating in the Domestic Violence Network for the last few years.
This is a monthly meeting where domestic violence professionals throughout Fairfax County
come together and meet regarding various needs in the community.
Trainings have been held during the meeting as well. 

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Fiscal Year 2015 Stats Just In!

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2015 Point-in-Time Count

Safe Places staff has been participating in the nation-wide Point-In-Time count for many years. This is a count aimed to account for as many homeless families and individuals across the nation as possible. Safe Places participates specifically in the Fairfax-Falls Church community’s count. This year, the count was held on January 28th, 2016. On this specific night of the year, Safe Places housed 53 individuals who were composed of 16 households. We reported how long each family has been homeless, how many times they have been homeless, and other un-identifying information. Information is then gathered throughout the county and analyzed and put into a report.

Visit this link to view highlights from the 2014 Point-In-Time count: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/homeless/point-in-time/pit-2014.htm

 

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Staff Training Updates

  • Staff has attended the Office on Violence Against Women’s Transitional Housing Assistance
    Program’s grantee orientation, held in Arlington, VA. This training focused on grant requirements,
    voluntary services, confidentiality, budget management, and serving survivors of sexual assault

 

  • Safe Places staff has attended the Office on Violence Against Women Transitional Housing Assistance
    Program Gulf and Southern States Regional Meeting, which was held in Miami, Florida in early December.
    This training focused on economic challenges for survivors in transitional housing, technology safety,
    as well as the importance of confidentiality and agency records.

 

  • Staff has also attended a training presented by the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance
    Training Institute regarding Working with Immigrant Survivors, which was held in Richmond, VA

 

  • The next training scheduled to attend is being presented by the Office on Violence Against Women
    Transitional Housing Assistance Program and focusing on the voluntary services model. This will be held
    in Boston, MA on March 1st and 2nd, 2016. This is a very important training for Safe Places staff to attend
    as we have recently adapted to this model, as it is required by the OVW grant. 
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Share A Haircut Campaign

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On February 2nd and 3rd, when any client (adult or child) purchases a haircut at Hair Cuttery, theywill match that haircut by donating a free haircut certificate to Safe Places. On February 4th, they will tally how many haircuts were purchased in our region and they will then be able to provide Safe Places with certificates to hand out to each family. This is something that the families look forward to each year – and talk about throughout the year!

The certificates can then be redeemed at any Hair Cuttery salon. The goal is to help homeless individuals and families in the community.

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