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.
Henrico County Recreation and Parks will present “Red, White, and Lights” at Meadow Farm Museum/Crump Park July 4.
Henrico County has hosted a Fourth of July celebration annually since 1981, but this year’s event will offer a later start time and expanded hours and be highlighted by new entertainment.
The free event will begin at 4:30 p.m. and will feature the Richmond Symphony, a laser-light show, patriotic performances, and family activities. > Read more.
The Tuckahoe Family YMCA and ReEstablish Richmond will host the third-annual Refugee Community Resource Fair Saturday, June 18, from 10 a.m. to noon at the YMCA, 9211 Patterson Avenue in Henrico. The event is designed to provide refugees in the region information about jobs, local businesses, housing, health care, education and more.
As part of its strategic plan, the YMCA of Greater Richmond works to identify, address and eliminate economic, geographic and cultural barriers. > Read more.
Muse Paintbar, which combines painting instruction with a wine bar and restaurant, opened June 23 at The Shops at Willow Lawn in Henrico. The location is the company's 17th nationwide.
Guests can learn from local artists while sampling a wide selection of wine, beer and tapas. The facility held a soft-launch last weekend, allowing patrons a sneak peek at the studio’s artistic offerings.
Muse anticipates expansion across the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area this summer. Other locations are spread throughout the Northeast. > Read more.
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