2017 End of Year Appeal
Few things in life can prepare you for the gut-wrenching realities of women and children trying to heal from the psychological, physical, and emotional trauma of domestic violence.
Paralyzed by fear, survivors struggle to even talk about the torture they have endured while living with the enemy. Many victims have lost any shred of hope because their sole objective is to survive one more day without being murdered.
Most tragic of all are the infants and children who have watched in terror as their mothers are brutally beaten, strangled, kicked, stabbed and verbally abused by their fathers or their mothers’ intimate partners. With no way out, children are left to hide under a bed, inside a closet, or sink into a silent despair.
Imagine what it must feel like to live in these dangerous households?
Children who have witnessed or experienced family violence cannot leave the pain of their childhoods behind. Why? Because they are too young to realize how their innocence and dignity is viciously stolen along with their mothers’ dignity and their family’s future. Sadly, the effects of violence often manifest negative consequences throughout their entire lives.
What can we do to stop this epidemic of family violence?
For 158 years the House of the Good Shepherd Chicago has opened our hearts and our shelter program to women and children who have endured family violence, poverty, homelessness, neglect and isolation. Since 1980, we have established a reputation as unique in Chicagoland for:
· Not imposing lengths of stay (Average stay is 9-18 months)
· Providing access to a private, onsite early childhood center
· 75-80% exit with secured employment, permanent housing & $1,500 -$3,000 in savings
· Customized programs to meet families where they are and help them get to where they want to go.
There is no other domestic violence program like House of the Good Shepherd Chicago.
When families arrive at our shelter, most have escaped with nothing more than the clothing on their backs. And the items they do have are often a handful of old photographs, a broken piece of jewelry — tokens of the life and the people they left behind.
We welcome new arrivals and help them gain stability through trauma-informed counseling. We offer educational and supportive services programs to nurture their self-esteem to reduce the prolonged effects of family violence. We provide our residents a safe and secure place to live and learn as we help them access the appropriate health, legal and financial support they need.
We enable survivors to confront and overcome their traumatic experiences and develop in order to regain confidence, resilience and independence. None of these transformations would be possible without steady and generous support from people like you.
This year, Greer Charities has offered a generous $30,000 challenge to the House of the Good Shepherd. We must first raise $30,000 before we receive the $30,000 in matching funds. That means every dollar you donate to House of the Good Shepherd is matched dollar for dollar up to $30,000 to extend programs that address the root causes of violence, poverty, and social injustice.
Every gift no matter how large or small holds the healing power for our families to develop positive relationships and the skills necessary to live successful, independent and fulfilling lives.
Will you help us to give voices to the silent witnesses and survivors of domestic violence? In doing so, your contributions will enable us to sustain our current program and extend our clinical outreach efforts to women and children trying to overcome the problems related to poverty, homelessness, isolation, debilitating trauma symptoms and family abuse.
Will you please consider making a contribution today? Your support helps break the silence and the cycle of domestic violence in our communities throughout Chicagoland.