Peaceful Paths Focuses on Education and Hope This October

Press release from Peaceful Paths

Domestic Violence Awareness will be highlighted throughout the month

Peaceful Paths Domestic Abuse Network will commemorate national Domestic Violence Awareness Month during October 2020. Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is an ongoing criminal concern and social issue in the Alachua, Bradford, and Union County communities the agency serves. 

In light of the current pandemic and ongoing social unrest, Peaceful Paths is preparing to address the impact these events will have on survivors and their children. Just as in times of hurricanes and other disasters, Peaceful Paths has experienced a rise in demand for many domestic violence services.   Peaceful Paths Outreach and Shelter programs have remained open throughout the past 6 months, providing essential safety and support services to adults and children in the region. The agency has implemented the CDC Guidelines for Community Based Care organizations and has been able to provide all services without COVID spread. 

Since the beginning of the year, Peaceful Paths has had to make adjustments due to COVID.  Despite the turmoil, advocates have been able to serve survivors with critical Residential and Outreach programs including shelter, legal services, financial assistance, housing support, and counseling both in face-to-face and teleservice settings. 

Highlights in these services include:

·         Attorneys and the paralegal have attended court via Zoom and are on track to exceed 700 clients for the year through injunctions, legal advice, referrals, and other legal services.

·         Financial Assistance was provided to over 600 families and totaled over $111,000 in cash and in-kind supplies.

·         Housing staff were able to permanently house 69 families, creating long term stability and safety.

·         Trauma counseling services were provided to 143 individuals, for a total of 1143 sessions.

·         In residential programs, 202 individuals received emergency and supportive housing services for a total of 12,918 shelter nights. This total includes 185 adults and children and 8 pets housed in emergency shelter, where they received over 9,000 individual safety and support services.

·         Outreach advocates served 613 adults and children with more than 21,000 services. The most utilized services included safety planning, information and referral services, crisis counseling, and meeting basic needs.

Michelle Carter, Board Chair, stated, “This community should care about domestic violence and its effect. Domestic violence is an issue that affects everyone in our community in some form; chances are good that most people know someone whose life has been impacted by domestic violence. It occurs in all walks of life and does not discriminate based on age, socioeconomic situation, race, religion, or educational background. Our community needs to come together to help survivors but also to educate the next generation of adults in order to end this cycle.”

October 2020: Opportunities for Involvement

Virtual Guest Chef | Sunday October 4 – Sunday October 11 

Fundraising and donor events are more critical now than ever. Join us for the 2020 Virtual Guest Chef auction and raffle event today by registering for free at www.guestchefgainesville.com and bid on baskets, food, experiences, and art throughout the week.  Buy a chance to win a bottle of Van Winkle Bourbon and $700 in local restaurant gift cards. Thank you to our premiere sponsors, Cox Communications, John and Janet Thornby, and the UF Department of Psychiatry. 

Survivor ArtWork | October 1-31

Survivors will again be creating works of art, including Clothesline Project T-shirts, throughout the month as part of group and individual counseling programs. Children’s artwork will focus on feelings and responses to their experiences.  This work will be on display in the Outreach and throughout the community starting next month. If your office or organization would like a display, please contact Theresa at theresab@peacefulpaths.org.

Holiday Giving| Wednesday, October 30 through Friday, December 11.

Holiday giving to support families for the winter holidays will begin this month as well – contact Stephanie Freas at stephanief@peacefulpaths.org to learn how your group can sponsor a family or donate general gifts this holiday season. 

Mission in Action Tours and Zoom Meetings | By appointment

Please join us for a unique look into our mission in action. If you are able to spare an hour of your day, you will walk away knowing more about Peaceful Paths and the services we offer. We have various times available to accommodate you with safe, socially distanced experiences for groups up to 10. We can also come to your organization with a special interactive Zoom meeting experience that can educate and inspire your team to become engaged in the work to support survivors and their children. To schedule your tour in person or via Zoom, please contact Director of Development, Stephanie Freas at stephanief@peacefulpaths.org.

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