Thursday, June 7, 2012

Are Clients Abusing the System?

This week’s blog is about another common myth I hear when I talk to people about the services at Hope House.  I often get asked if the people in shelter are really in need, or are they taking advantage of the system? This conversation is often in reference to those who are receiving state assistance and food stamps.

I find myself taken aback when asked this, even though I’ve heard it many times. My first response is always to invite that person to shelter so they can see firsthand what we do, and to see that shelter life is not easy, glamorous, or desirable. The women who come to shelter have no other resources available to them.  They are truly at the end of their road, and not sure what the next day is going to bring.

I’m amazed at how resourceful and adaptable people can be when faced with dire circumstances. I often wonder how I would respond if I were in a similar situation.  I am not sure I would have the strength to survive the challenges these women do every day.

I’m so proud and honored to be able to work with survivors of domestic violence. I love witnessing the transformation that can take place when someone is given the opportunity to rest, and collect their thoughts.

I admire the resourcefulness and the ingenuity I have seen as clients work through their issues and solve their problems. With time, support, encouragement and a helping hand, it’s amazing what transformations can take place. Once on their feet again, they are able to thrive on their own.

I’m glad we’re here to help them through their darkest hours and their most vulnerable times. Then we have the opportunity to witness their growth and the beginning of their new life.


  1. This is why us advocates go into this area of study. We want to help these women who have no place to turn and need our help. Our reward is our success stories of those who have let us help them and use the resources that are available to them.

  2. Anon, thanks for the comment. Without our caring advocates, our programs wouldn't exist. You and others who have heard the same call are the reason we're able to help over 10,000 women, children and men every year. Keep up the great work!

  3. My children and I have been contacting Hope House for legal help for a very long time now and have been denied. When I made contact with Hope House again in May, I was told my name wasn't even in the system after all the calls I have made repeatedly. I did an intake the first of June trying to get help with all the abuse my children and I have been through and the court case I have going on. I dropped off another envelope of court papers for the lawyer over a month ago and checked on them two weeks later while at the Hope House and was told the lawyer is too busy and still hadn't taken a look at any of my papers with my case. I also called about my case several times asking about it and showing my concerns. I just received a call today after waiting 2 1/2 months on whether or not my case was going to be taken, I was told there is no more funding until October even though my case was said to be urgent. I was assaulted and my children kidnapped by my ex over a year ago now. (We have a long history of abuse) The first lawyer I hired to represent me in getting my children back and for an emergency hearing that was going to be held 5 days later after being served and 3 days later after obtaining council. My attorney went behind my back with my ex husbands lawyer and gave my children to my ex without my knowledge or consent.(All was taken up with the MO bar on what she done and it was in my favor and she was held accountable) This went against MO laws where a hearing has to be held and or affidavits signed by both parties before a judge can sign off on it and neither one happened. My ex's lawyer took it to the court house and had the judge sign it at 9 am and canceled our emergency hearing that was supposed to be held at 1:30 that after noon. I asked Hope House for help with my protection order that was held in Aug. and told yes for it and then no one helped me. It was then continued in Sept. and was denied help with that hearing too. My ex got away with assault AGAIN and my daughter was in the middle of it and shoved into a car. I would like for someone to please tell me and help me understand why it is that my children and I keep getting shoved through the cracks of the legal system.

    1. Anonymous, please contact me via email ASAP so I can look into this. I will need your full name in order to investigate, but I don't want you to share that information here. My email address is Looking forward to hearing from you.