Sojourner programs and services promote increased safety for all victims of domestic violence & abuse at any stage of their experience.
Sojourner Shelter is a secure and confidential emergency residence for women and children who are unsafe in their homes due to violence & abuse. The Shelter provides basic needs - food and clothing, case management and personal advocacy, transportation assistance, support and life skills groups and specialized activities for children. Services are designed to empower and help women achieve greater safety for themselves and their children. A 24-Hour Crisis/Help Line monitored by shelter advocates and volunteers is dedicated to callers who seek information or emergency assistance. Last year the shelter housed 389 women and children, responded to 2512 crisis line calls and served approzimately 23.000 meals to the residents.
Sojourner's Community Advocacy Program provides services to domestic violence victims who do not require or request emergency shelter. . Our Community Advocates helps these victims stabilize their lives, maintain safety for themselves and their children and increase their understanding of options and resources available to them while they live in their own residence. Advocates work in the Criminal and Civil/Family Court systems and provide clients confidential assistance with safety assessments, information and referrals, help with preparing and filing Orders of Protection and work with clients on strategies for creating a violence free future. Last year legal advocacy was provided for 819 women and men and advocates provided 14,036 hours of direct client support.
Sojourner’s Community Outreach and Education Program works to raise awareness about domestic violence through presentations to schools, civic groups, faith communities, businesses and professional groups. Raising awareness is critical to the prevention of domestic violence and its devastating effects on the lives of individuals, families and communities. Last year the education program faciliated 74 events reaching over 4500 people.
Sojourner Volunteer Program provides several opportunities for both individual and service groups. Volunteer opportunities include; Children Program, Dinner Prep Groups, Crisis Line/Shelter Assistant, Intervention and other service group projects. Last year Sojourner worked with 71 individuals and 36 groups totaling 380 people and was supported with 10,290 hours of volunteer service!
A Story: Caroline's journey to a life free from violence began with a choice to leave her abusive partner. With her 3 children, Lizzy, Gavin and James, she moved to our shelter. Feelings of shame and guilt overwhelmed, but she soon realized she had taken an important step toward a better life. “The support group was like looking into a mirror each time I heard another woman share her experiences. It seemed like I was hearing my story over and over. I finally gave myself permission to move on.” She noticed changes in her children too. “My kids started expressing their feelings and were less afraid.” In parenting group, Caroline learned ways to help her children cope and express feelings in healthy ways. She obtained an Order for Protection, participated in family therapy, maintained her sobriety, and found safe, affordable housing. The family stays in touch with Sojourner staff and Lizzy, the youngest child says “ the most important lesson I learned in children’s group was, hands are for helping and not hurting.”