Domestic Violence impacts everyone. At CEASE Inc. we work with victims and communities to increase safety. Adults, children, and pets fleeing domestic violence can find safety at one of our shelters where all their needs will be met until they are able to move out on their own. Our Safe at Home rapid rehousing program makes that possible by removing some of the financial barriers that victims face to get them into permanent safe homes quickly. Our advocates provide counseling and support throughout the journey as victims go from living in constant terror to creating a life free from violence.
After the apartment building they lived in burned down in November 2016, Mary, John, and their two children went to a motel that was providing free rooms to fire victims. During the first night there, a motel worker witnessed John abusing Mary and called the police. John was arrested and Mary needed somewhere safe to go; so officers drove her and the children to the CEASE Inc. emergency domestic violence shelter. They arrived, like most survivors, with only the clothes on their backs. But, unlike the other survivors, their trauma of living with domestic violence was compounded by the trauma of losing their home and all their belongings in the wild fire. CEASE’s advocates welcomed them into the shelter, provided them with clothes and hygiene items, warm beds, food, and most importantly safety. After several weeks of restful healing and counseling with the shelter advocates, Mary was ready to begin rebuilding her life. The first step was to replace her and the children’s birth certificates and other important documents that were lost in the fire. Then she began looking for a job. Due to the years of John’s abuse, Mary had a spotty work history and PTSD. Finding a job was difficult, but with her advocates help she did find an employer willing to give her a chance. The first couple of months were hard for Mary, but she was persistent and supported. Living at CEASE during this time gave her the opportunity to heal and become the mom she had always wanted to be. When she felt she was ready to take the next step, she applied for SAFE at Home, CEASE’s rehousing program that helps survivors with rent, utilities, and child care. CEASE’s Housing Specialist helped Mary find an apartment, turn on the utilities, and make it a home for her and the children. Six months later Mary and the children are not only surviving, they are thriving. This year they will spend the holidays safe in their very own home because donors like you make CEASE’s supportive services possible.
Mary found hope through the flames of an actual wildfire but all victims of domestic violence have had their dreams for happy lives go up in flames. With your support we can continue to help victims find hope and happiness.