July 16, 2020
In early March in response to the pandemic, The Advocates quickly pivoted and switched to remote staffing and advocacy for all services other than onsite shelter and transitional housing. Despite having one of the highest per capita rates of COVID19 in the United States, we’ve been able to maintain an infection free shelter and staff due to following prevention policies and procedures. Requests for assistance over the last several months are three times normal and financial assistance, primarily rent assistance are five times normal. As with most programs, we did not experience an increase in clients reporting new incidents of abuse, until the shelter in place order lifted. We helped 21% more adult clients over the last three months than usual.
Fortunately due to a high level of generosity, we are able to meet the requests for assistance and services. The primary goal of our Safe Housing First Program is to help survivors of abuse obtain housing or keep them stability housed. It is heartwarming that our community is supportive of these efforts. Early on, donors also dropped off large supplies of masks, gloves, and sanitizer. Our community came together to support the front line service providers.
Despite all the support, our clients were significantly impacted by the pandemic primarily due to lost work. Victim advocate staff diligently worked from home to connect with clients and help them navigate the new environment. Clients adapted well to remote services. Our Skills for Success Employability Program is in its second 11-week session via Zoom, and even had graduation over Zoom. We were able to pair volunteers with clients via Zoom to complete resume writing night as well.
With our annual gala fund raising event, the Black & White Soiree, scheduled for the end of June, we also had to rapidly change the event to an online campaign. This was a critical move as the Soiree raises 25% of our operating income. We developed a fun, positive alternative and the community fully participated in our Color Our World campaign. Donors purchased ribbons of various colors put up in the trees of a local park for a week. It was a beautiful and uplifting display and helped lighten the mood while at the same time raising needed funds.
In addition to all of the above activity, we are in the final month of finishing a significant program expansion, with the last six units of a 22-unit transitional housing apartment development opening the end of August. Construction was shut down for three weeks, however, the project is on schedule and under budget. The apartments will fill quickly as we have 11 adults and 10 children on the waitlist.
We physically opened our doors again a month ago to in-person services. Staff are working onsite providing services with clients and masks are required and service provision is going well. Clients are very thankful.
Lastly, as a staff, we have started doing work around anti-oppression and plan to continue to have discussions and meetings around oppression.
Despite the difficult times, the resiliency of our clients and the commitment and dedication of our staff and community are seeing us through. Our board of directors and staff are engaged in ongoing scenario planning with the goal of being able to continue to positively rebound.
CEO, The Advocates
This is a reminder to OVW Rural grantees to please submit your report by July 20th. You can send it to Dalton Tiegs at email@example.com. Thank you!
Serving Survivors Impacted by the Criminal Legal System
July 31, 2020
2:00pm PT | 1:00pm MT | 2:00pm CT | 3:00pm ET
This webinar will highlight the multitude of ways that a criminal record can negatively impact a survivor’s life and safety, and how programs can begin to build resources and innovative community partnerships in order to help survivors overcome the barriers they face after an incarceration or criminal conviction.
Save the date: Ti Novitawi Kocheukaakwe Virtual Conference Honoring Missing & Murdered Indigenous People
Througout October 2020
All people are sacred and worthy of protection, justice, and wellness. The issue of Missing & Murdered Indigenous People should receive adequate response and prevention measures, and Idaho is taking steps toward that end. As we acknowledge this crisis and the changes urgently needed to save lives, and respond to this reality we begin the process of removing barriers to the safety of Native communities by strengthening the ability of Indigenous nations to protect mxn, womxn, and children. During October, the Idaho Coalition will host Ti Novitawi Kocheukaakwe Virtual Conference Honoring Missing & Murdered Indigenous People. Each presentation will be delivered virtually via Zoom.
Featuring Sarah Deer, Author of “The Beginning and End of Rape” On October 6th, 11:00AM-1:00PM We will announce additional speakers from Indigenous communities across the country whose powerful voices and insight and renown in the movement to end violence against Native folks.
Registration opens August 1st on www.engagingvoices.org
Reminder that shipping for all material orders made by Programs on the Idaho Coalition website store is FREE of cost, please use the below coupon for all orders.