AAWGT: Making a difference in our community!
2747 Riva Road
Come and invite your friends to learn more about the outstanding non-profits working to improve the quality of life for women and families in Anne Arundel County. All are welcome!
One in four women will be affected by domestic violence at some point in her life. In Anne Arundel County, that equates to over 75,000 women, enough to fill M&T Bank [Ravens] Stadium. As many are aware, the issue of domestic violence crosses all socioeconomic barriers and the effect reaches far into families, businesses and the community. Serving over 10,000 people a year through the 24-hour hotlines, safe house, legal services program, counseling department and community outreach initiatives, the YWCA is the comprehensive domestic violence and sexual assault crisis intervention service provider for Anne Arundel County.
The YWCA has been pleased to utilize the funding provided by Anne Arundel Women Giving Together to support the staff expense of two crisis advocates. The role of the advocate is to answer the 24-hour hotline, provide case management, assist with transportation to medical appointments and provide direct support in attaining the goals each individual sets for themselves as part of the process of leaving an abusive home. The shelter provides refuge to 250+ women and children annually with most families staying 30-60 days. Both Christan Wallace and Michel’le Brown are full time team members with the YWCA, working under this grant, and with the primary goal of breaking down the barriers to obtaining independent housing.
In working with those in crisis, the needs vary greatly. As such, plans are individualized to the particular client. Some residents require job skills development or assistance in identifying housing options. Others are looking for support with legal representation in custody matters following abuse or accompaniment at the hospital during a forensic exam. Regardless of the need, the YWCA is open 24-hours a day to provide that support. Once such example is a woman, “Jenna” who called on the hotline. She and her young son had endured abuse for three years. All access to money, the car and even insurance cards had been taken from them in an attempt to keep Jenna from leaving the house. The physical abuse escalated. Jenna was embarrassed and struggled to reach out, until she started to see her young son starting to mimic his father’s violent behavior. She contacted the YWCA, secured a space in the residential program and has been benefitting from both case management and counseling to begin rebuilding a violence-free life for both herself and her son.
The YWCA is on course to expand services through the new campus, opening in January 2019. This site will be home to the new 10,000 sf “Weinberg Residence” [Safe House Shelter] and Education & Wellness Center. The YWCA will be able to offer accommodations to twice the number of people and also provide licensed acupuncture/massage, financial literacy, resume writing, mentoring, yoga and wellness through facilities on site.
Betsy Chotin, President
Sue Pitchford, Vice-President and President-Elect