Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!! 2011 is just two days away, and we are gearing up for it to be a great year.

We are so excited to be planning our grand opening for the new therapy building and for all of the renovations and changes that have happened on the Independence campus. It is a beautiful, calming atmosphere; a perfect environment for healing to take place.

We continue to be forward thinking in our plans for this year. We will continue to enhance our programming through grants that we have received. It is so exciting to be able to hire back staff and enhance the quality of our programming. We have been operating at lower staffing levels but continuing to have increased demand. This can take a toll on the staff, to be able to provide relief for them is such a thrill.

Last year we turned away more than we served in shelter; hopefully this year will be different. We will continue to offer services to as many as we can through all of our programming and minimize the numbers who are turned away. We will continue to advocate at the state and national level to make sure that the needs of those impacted by domestic violence are heard and addressed.

We remain positive that our work is making a difference in the lives of women and children. I heard from a former resident not too long ago who said, “Hope House saved me.” I said, “No, you saved yourself. We just helped.” I plan to continue to offer services that help women in their journey to reclaim themselves and move on to lives free of abuse.

I hope you will stay with me on this journey as we see what 2011 brings for us.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Holiday Hope

I know that it can sound cliché but I really do hope for world peace; that we can someday find ourselves living in harmony and no one is afraid in their own home and of their life partner.

It is always at this time of year that this wish seems to be most prominent in my mind; the holidays seem to bring this out in me. I know that we have made great strides and have come so far in breaking the cycle of domestic violence, so I am celebrating that today.

We are that much closer and many more people have joined us in our efforts so I will take that with me and allow that to nourish, energize and motivate me to continue my part in this work.

Thank you for joining me in this effort. Thank you for all you do in making our world one step closer to being free of domestic violence.

Happy Holidays to you and yours. Wishing you peace and happiness.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Celebrating Traditions

It is that time of year and everyone is gearing up for the holidays. Our clients have many different traditions this time of year. We work hard to make sure that everyone’s traditions are honored, and they are given the opportunity to celebrate.

We work with clients from all faiths and each has its own unique traditions. We have a committee that works on ensuring the environment at Hope House is representative of who the clients are, and where they come from. At this time of year, we typically celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.

We are working to educate ourselves on the many other holidays that occur during this season, as well as throughout the year. We welcome information on traditions of which we may not be aware.

Our goal is to be a safe place for people to come and be themselves, and to give them the opportunity to carry on their traditions, or create new ones. We do not have a script of what they should or shouldn’t do, but celebrate with them in the way that makes them most comfortable.

It is a great opportunity for us to learn new beliefs and learn of the experiences our clients have had that have helped shape who they are today. What a gift to be able to do that with our clients and grow with them.

We are looking forward to this most celebrated season and sharing in our clients’ joy of the season - whatever that looks like for them.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

End the Silence on Domestic Violence

If you haven’t been watching Dr. Phil (on ABC) the past couple of months you may have missed his very exciting announcement about his partnership with the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) and his new initiative called End the Silence on Domestic Violence. He launched a season long campaign to bring attention to the issue of domestic violence.

His shows have addressed the many aspects of domestic violence: red flags to look for, teen dating violence and the danger when leaving an abusive relationship. His attention to this topic is encouraging and brings much hope to those of us in the field.

It is so helpful to have a national celebrity talking about the issue, bringing it to the forefront and allowing it to be discussed openly. It is a legitimate topic to address and I appreciate his attention.

I am so pleased that Sue Else with NNEDV has partnered with Dr. Phil as she understands this issue like no other. She worked at Hope House for 18 years and is always bringing the issue to the forefront. Her efforts in this are greatly appreciated.

Many lives will be impacted by the discussions that have taken place and will take place over the course of the season. It is so helpful to have those with such a large audience talking about the issue, raising the awareness and directing people to the available resources.

Hope House will be here offering the services to those in need and helping Dr. Phil and NNEDV end the silence. For more information on Dr. Phil’s efforts, visit his website. For Hope House resources, please visit

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Holiday Store

Struggling through leaving a relationship and working through the painful issue of domestic violence is never easy, but it can be especially difficult at the holiday times.

We provide a Holiday Store at each of our locations so that both shelter and outreach clients are able to “shop” for gifts for their children and children get to “shop” for their mom. This is a great way for the moms to make the holiday special for their children, even if it is different from their past celebrations.

We help both the moms and the kids work through the difficulties and begin the healing process, and encourage them to take a moment to have fun and not worry about all of the stressors in their lives. If we can help make the holiday special, and make them feel like life is back to “normal”, then we have accomplished a lot.

Creating new traditions and new beginnings is a wonderful way to celebrate the season. So if you are looking for ways to get involved this holiday season, think of Hope House and the clients we serve. We would love to have you help us in giving our clients the special holiday season they so deserve.  

For ideas on how to help, visit our website (click on Ways to Give, then Donate Items) or call 816-461-4188, ext. 0 and ask for our holiday wish list.