Oakland County’s only comprehensive program for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault got a financial boost from Oxford Village.
Last week, the village council voted 5-0 to award $3,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to HAVEN.
“HAVEN is an organization that law enforcement literally relies on” to help individuals struggling with situations it “can’t remedy,” said Councilman Erik Dolan, who made the motion.
The Pontiac-based organization provides a 24-7 crisis and support line, emergency shelter, medical forensic exams, counseling, court advocacy and prevention education.
“People need to know that we are more than a shelter,” said Wendy Powers, officer manager for HAVEN, during her presentation to council.
In 2017, HAVEN provided counseling to 852 adults and 114 children and emergency shelter, via its residential program, to 222 adults and 207 children.
“We know that 1 in 3 families are affected by domestic violence,” Powers said.
Last year, the organization’s crisis and support line handled 12,865 calls, while the prevention education program, which teaches people how to build healthy relationships, trained 10,955 individuals.
HAVEN’s Safe Therapeutic Assault Response Team (START), which provides comprehensive medical forensic exams to survivors of sexual assault, served 207 adults and 49 children last year.
“Instead of being in a cold, sterile hospital environment after such a traumatic event, they’re able to come to our facilities” and receive an exam in a manner that’s as “compassionate and comfortable as possible,” Powers explained.
In the village, Powers told council HAVEN spent $6,814 last year providing services to 22 individuals – six received counseling, five received court advocacy services, 10 received help filing personal protection orders and one received a sexual assault exam.
“There are probably many, many more suffering in silence and with your help, we can reach those people and we can help them heal and lead a safe and healthy life,” she said.
In 2017, HAVEN received $3.4 million in operating funds from fund-raising/donors (41 percent), government (52 percent) and United Way (7 percent).
“We could not do (this) without (the) support of very generous donors and community partners such as yourself,” Powers told council.
HAVEN was one of two bidders for the village’s CDBG funds. The other was Oxford-Orion FISH.
Established in 1973, FISH provides free food to families, individuals and senior citizens who are living on low or fixed incomes or who have fallen on hard times due to job loss, illness and other personal crises.
“Last year, we distributed approximately 8,000 pounds of food to the village residents,” said FISH Treasurer Randy Gower during his presentation to council.