Safe Harbor Offers Support, Hope
The Safe Harbor Shelter stands up for victims of domestic violence and is backed by a passionate support staff.
The non-profit shelter offers supportive services for men, women and children who have experienced intimate partner violence. It provides an emergency temporary safe house that’s open to current or past victims of domestic violence 24 hours a day.
Since April 2000, the shelter has been serving people in Henrico County and Metro Richmond. The organization offers a 24 hour hotline (\287-7877), community counseling, court advocacy, hospital accompaniment and emergency shelter for adults and children.
Safe Harbor has seven volunteer teams for court advocacy, children’s advocacy, house, community outreach, marketing/events, hospital accompaniment and a volunteer engagement team for the community to get involved.
“We also provide education and outreach about the issue of intimate partner violence and how Safe Harbor services can support those experiencing violence,” said Angela Verdery, public information officer for Safe Harbor.
Last year, the shelter provided more than 2,000 hours of support and group services to individuals and families and offered more than 3,000 nights in their shelters.
The shelter recently formed the Regional Hospital Response Team (RHART) with Hanover Safe Place and the YWCA for survivors who need medical attention at local hospitals. Safe Harbor constantly works with domestic violence victims who seek advice, support and a place to stay while they get back on their feet.
“Safe Harbor serves over 40 survivors of intimate partner violence on an average day,” said Verdery.
There are three other women and children shelters in the area, but Safe Harbor is the only one available for victims in Henrico County. It operates entirely from donations and occasional grants; many of its services are carried out by volunteers. Safe Harbor has trained nearly 4,000 people to provide assistance on topics related to domestic violence and other services it offers.
Currently, the shelter is in desperate need of GRTC bus tickets and gift cards for retail stores such as Kroger, Wal-Mart, Target and CVS to help families with limited resources. “Bus tickets enable our clients to get to work and appointments, while gift cards offer the opportunity to purchase needed items not readily available in our pantry,” Verdery said. The organization also provides a wish list on its website – http://www.safeharborshelter.com – of all the items that it regularly needs.
Lauren Leggett has been volunteering with the shelter since 2008 as an advocate and working the 24-hour hotline. She interacts with clients and callers to provide resources and support. She also works with the Child Advocacy, Community Outreach/Education, and Volunteer Engagement Teams.
“Helping to stop intimate partner violence has been an interest of mine since college," she said. "In early 2008, I was searching for a new volunteer job, came across Safe Harbor’s call for volunteers and went to the training, which is what really motivated me to work for the agency."
Leggett said that the experience has been wonderful for her, and she's made a number of different connections to members of the community.
“The staff is amazing, full of supportive and friendly people who never treat me as if I’m 'just' a volunteer,” she said.
The shelter is always looking to expand its volunteer base. Volunteers can gain as much from the experience as those they help, Leggett said.
“This commitment to the betterment of lives affected by intimate partner violence helps to strengthen the relationships in our community and build up knowledge to help improve future generations’ interpersonal relationships,” she said.
For details, visit http://www.safeharborshelter.com.
St. Joseph's Villa’s Flagler Housing & Homeless Services was one of three entities to earn the National Alliance to End Homelessness' Champion of Change Award. The awards were presented Nov. 17 during a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
NAEH annually recognizes proven programs and significant achievements in ending child and family homelessness.
Flagler completed its transition from an on-campus shelter to the community-based model of rapid rehousing in 2013, and it was one of the nation's first rapid re-housing service providers to be certified by NAEH. > Read more.
Richmond International Raceway's 13th annual Community Christmas tree lighting has been rescheduled from Dec. 6 to Monday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m., due to inclement weather expected on the original date.
Entertainment Dec. 12 will be provided by the Laburnum Elementary School choir and the Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warriors band. Tree decorations crafted by students from Laburnum Elementary School and L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will be on display. Hot chocolate and cookies will be supplied by the Henrico High School football boosters. > Read more.
It’s going to be a cold weekend so if you’re headed out to the James River Parade of Lights or the Richmond Road Runners Club Toy Run 5K in Innsbrook, you’d better bundle up! If you’re looking for some indoor ways to celebrate the holidays, check out Three-Penny Theatre’s production of “A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story for Christmas” or “To Drive the Cold Winter Away: An Irish Celebration of the Returning Light” at the Unitarian Universalist Community Church in Glen Allen. Also this weekend – the Henrico Theatre will show the holiday classic “Home Alone." For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
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CalendarThe Hanover Concert Band will perform their annual Christmas Pops concert at 7 p.m. at the Hanover Arts and Activities Center in Ashland. The concert is casual and will feature musical selections of the Christmas season. Complimentary light food and beverages will be provided. Admission is free but guests are invited to bring non-perishable food items for the Central Virginia Food Bank. Family-friendly. For details, visit http://www.hanoverconcertband.org. Full text