LORAIN COUNTY SAFE HARBOR/GENESIS HOUSE FISCAL YEAR 2020
My goodness this year has been one of many changes and many challenges. The Coronavirus rocked everyone’s world. No one could have imagined how much our lives would be impacted by this Pandemic. Unfortunately for domestic violence victims, the Coronavirus caused another layer of threat. Stay-at-home orders have a very scary consequence for people in abusive relationships—forcing closer proximity at all times with their abuser, and making the abusive environment even more isolating than ever before. Because of this, Genesis House has committed to remain open and operational through it all. We know we need to be here when people in our community need us most.
While we had to suspend our community-based support groups and prevention/ education services for a few months, we made sure our intervention services never stopped. Throughout this fiscal year, our hotline has been up and running, our shelter has been operating, our Legal Advocates have been meeting people for court appearances, and our Aftercare Program has continued to support survivors rebuilding their lives. At our shelter, social distancing requirements forced us to get creative. We reduced the number of people we housed in shelter and began housing people in alternate safe locations off-site. All the while continuing to provide the same services to residents regardless of their location. Everything from basic needs items, like food, toiletries, and PPE items, to case planning and relocation assistance is provided at no cost to our residents.
At this time, all our services are back up and running. We’re utilizing our Outreach Building now more then ever as the new temporary home for our support groups and batterer’s intervention programming until our partner agencies where these groups are usually held reopen. Our community educators are also hard at work figuring out how to continue our school-based prevention education this school year and what it will look like — online, in-person or a mixture of the both. With your wonderful support, Genesis House will continue to evolve and adapt to our changing environment and figure out how we can best serve our community. During these challenging times, when adaptations need to be made on an almost daily basis, we need your support more than ever. Together, we can offer hope to those in danger during the scariest time of their lives. Thank you for your partnership.
Yours in solidarity,
Virginia M. Beckman
The Aftercare Program
One of the tactics an abuser uses is isolation. By destroying relationships in their target’s life, the abuser establishes solid control. Often times, by the time a survivor leaves, their social support system has been completely annihilated. Once out of the relationship, and physical safety has been established, the survivor has the long, hard journey of starting over—in relationships, in work, and in every area of their life.
The Aftercare Program is built with all this in mind. As each survivor rebuilds their life, the Aftercare Program provides long- term support. Our Aftercare Coordinator keeps in touch with people who have been through our program, offering referrals, doing home visits, and providing program participants with basic needs items for the first few years of their journey to independence. These families benefit from holiday giving, our Back-To-School giveaways and more.
Justice System Advocacy
Lorain County Safe Harbor/Genesis House has three full time Legal Advocates who provide support to survivors in our community’s courts. Our Legal Advocates reach out to victims of domestic violence whose partners have been criminally charged with domestic violence (or a related crime, like menacing by stalking or telecommunications harassment, etc.). They explain to the victim what their rights are as a victim of crime, what services are available to them in the community, and offer emotional support throughout the process.
Our Legal Advocates often accompany these victims to seek Civil Protection Orders as well. They meet with every person who comes through Genesis House shelter to see if they have legal needs, and offer referrals as appropriate. Genesis House Legal Advocates link survivors with legal assistance that is sometimes available through the Ohio Domestic Violence Network. They also assist survivors in applying for victims of crime compensation, registering with the VINE system, 0r composing a victim impact statement.
Systemic advocacy is another important part of the work our Legal Advocates do —advocating for system-wide changes that will improve the experience of all victims moving forward.
In Fiscal Year 2020, Genesis House Legal Advocates provided 1,166 points of supportive services to victims of domestic violence in our community’s courts.
12th Annual Pajama Party Fundraiser
Please note that due to Covid-19, we won’t be having our annual Pajama Party in January 2021. We’ve scheduled our next Pajama Party for January 20th 2022 at Emerald Event Center. If you’d like to be a sponsor, get tickets or if you have any questions at all, contact Kierston at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, check out our website and follow us on Facebook to find out about ways to be involved and support Genesis House!
Support and Education Groups
Community-based support and education groups are an important way Lorain County Safe Harbor/Genesis House reaches people all over the community. People may attend a support group who may or may not be ready to reach out for other kinds of help. It’s an ideal way to bring some services to people and meet them “where they’re at.” Anybody wanting to attend a group can simply call our 24 hour hotline to find out when and where that group is held.
Genesis House Advocates facilitate an open support group in the community each week for anyone who wants to talk through their situation or get some support from others who have experienced domestic violence. Additionally, Genesis House facilitates a few other specialized support and education groups with various partner agencies in the community. One of these specialized group is for individuals who have an open case with Lorain County Children Services, where the person’s case plan instructs them to seek domestic violence education. Another one of our specialized groups, held at the Gathering Hope House for consumers of services there who have a severe mental illness. People who are living with a disability are at much higher risk for abuse, so outreach like this can prove to be life-saving. Our Advocate For Special Populations facilitates this group as well as a specialized support and education group at TRIAD for people who have a developmental disability.
Other Advocates at Genesis House also facilitate regular groups at the Lorain/Medina County Community Based Correctional Facility with the female population there. For years, studies have concluded that women who are incarcerated almost always have a long history of victimization, and many have never engaged in any help-seeking behavior prior to their incarceration.
All together, Genesis House Advocates saw 618 people attend one of our support and education groups in Fiscal Year 2020.
Abusers isolate their partners by sabotaging their partner’s efforts at work or school. Sometimes isolation is accomplished by destroying their partners friendships. Sometimes it is done by geographic isolation.
In the case of geographic isolation, the abuser makes excuses for their abusive behavior, saying things like, “Too many people are meddling in our relationship. That’s what’s causing all our problems!” So, the abuser convinces their partner to move away—to somewhere distant from all social support — with the promise that all their “problems” will go away.
Once in the new location, the abuser keeps their partner isolated by doing things like not letting the partner work, breaking their partner’s phone, or not allowing their partner to have an operable car. Then when the partner wants to leave, there is nobody they feel they can call in this new location where they have no social supports. This is when they look for the local hotline number and call Genesis House.
Once safe in shelter, the survivor wants to return to their true home, where all their friends and family live. They want to return to where they lived before they met their abuser.
Genesis House makes every effort to relocate people in this scenario back home, where they can be with loved ones who can help them rebuild. We provide these survivors with bus tickets, airfare, or gas cards for the trip out of town. This is an important part of providing survivor-centered, trauma-informed care.
This year, the Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation of Lorain County supported these efforts by awarding us a grant to purchase “Go Bags”. We filled these bags with things to make the trip more comfortable—water bottles, ice packs, hand sanitizer and even ear buds.
Community Education and Awareness Programming
Providing education to the community and broader awareness about the issue of domestic violence is an important piece of the work we do. This kind of victimization won’t stop until the entire community stands against abusive behavior.
Lorain County Safe Harbor/Genesis House works to provide education to the community through professional development seminars, educational presentations, and broader awareness activities.
The community education programming at Lorain County Safe Harbor/Genesis House, including our (below story) school-based prevention and education programming, is funded through the generosity of the Nord Family Foundation.
39 community presentations and 67 community awareness activities were carried out in Fiscal Year 2020. Through this programming, Lorain County Safe Harbor/Genesis House was able to reach 98,892 people in Fiscal Year 2020.
Evidence-Based Prevention and Education Program
Lorain County Safe Harbor/Genesis House provides evidence-based prevention and education programming for youth. The curriculum we use has been studied nationwide and proven to be one of the most effective programs to use in domestic violence prevention for young people. In addition to our Manager of Community Education, Genesis House also has a full time Community Educator who goes into schools and presents this curriculum.
In Fiscal Year 2020, Genesis House educators provided 187 school presentations about domestic violence, in 17 schools, including middle schools, high schools and even colleges.
In addition to school presentations, Genesis House educators hold special events throughout the year to educate youth about healthy relationships.
Genesis House reached 5,737 youth in Fiscal Year 2020.
Schools our Community Educators visited this year:
Eastern Heights Middle School | Northwood Middle School | Midview High School |
Avon Middle School | Avon Lake High School | Lorain High School | Wellington High School |
Brookside High School | Lorain County JVS | Kent State University |
Lorain County Community College | Lorain County Detention Center |
North Ridgeville High School | Westwood Middle School | Amherst High School |
Our Mission and Philosophy
LORAIN COUNTY SAFE HARBOR/GENESIS HOUSE MISSION STATEMENT:
Our mission is to provide a comprehensive range of family-focused services for Lorain County victims of domestic violence. Such services provide the tools to maximize their opportunity to survive, obtain physical and mental well-being and independence, and minimize the trauma involved in coping with family violence. We endeavor to be part of collaborative community efforts to provide a responsive system of care for victims while also raising awareness.
LORAIN COUNTY SAFE HARBOR/GENESIS HOUSE PHILOSOPHY:
Lorain County Safe Harbor recognizes domestic violence as a serious and significant societal ill deserving of separate and independent attention and this organization seeks to focus exclusively on the resolution of that problem.
Lorain County Safe Harbor strives to eliminate the societal pattern of violence and coercion within family systems.
Lorain County Safe Harbor actively opposes the abuse of power and control over others and supports equality in relationships.
Lorain County Safe Harbor functions to empower victims of domestic violence to take control over their lives by providing a broad range of services to individuals and the community in the areas of safety, shelter, advocacy, education, counseling and support for growth and change.
Lorain County Safe Harbor provides services without regard to race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, ancestry, veteran status, or national origin.
Lorain County Safe Harbor believes in taking a stand against domestic violence in an effort to stop it.
Our Board of Directors
Sandy Hamilton | Danielle Hughes | Mari Pravlik | Jeanette Willis | Cathy Fairbanks |
Michael Szekely | Margie Flood | Stacey Murry | Renee Collins | Elizabeth Boardwine |
| Kimyata Hawthorne |
Lorain County Safe Harbor
PO Box 718
Lorain, OH 44052
Lorain County Safe Harbor/Genesis House