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Heartly House and Faith House

To better acquaint our members and the greater community with our grantees, we are highlighting some of the nonprofit organizations that have received WGC grants. This quarter, we are sharing some highlights from the grant applications that we received from Heartly House and Faith House in response to our special COVID-19 Emergency Relief effort. We are very pleased to provide $10,000 to each organization to help them with their COVID-19 response efforts.

Project Name: Essential Community Outreach Campaign - #StillHere

Project Purpose: Increase public outreach and survivor awareness and access to Heartly House services during this high-risk period.

Issues faced due to COVID-19:

  • Loss of revenue to fundraising event cancellation

  • Lost revenue due to decline in individual giving

  • Decrease in available staff or volunteers

  • Increases in community needs and demand for services

Impact Statement: The activity through our hotline has dramatically decreased since March 15 to less than a third of our typical call volume. Since that time, fewer victims are reaching out through phone calls or emails to our hotline. Victims may not realize that we are essential services and they may think we are closed. Or it may not be safe enough for them to call because their abuser is home and around them most of the time. Another likelihood is that they are dealing with their basic needs first for food, housing, and supplies, putting mental health and physical safety concerns on hold.

Revealing incidents of domestic violence even in the best of times is risky, now even more so. We know that abuse spikes during times of crisis, such as economic hardship, and when you add in close, inescapable living arrangements, it adds an effective fuel for heightened violence in the home. During times of stress, abusers become more violent. Homes that were not violent become violent due to the increased tensions that this type of crisis brings.

At times like this, we see more serious physical injuries and higher risks for lethality. Right now, victims of domestic violence and sexual assault/abuse cannot escape their abuser especially if they do not know that Heartly House is “still here” to help and support them.

Use of Funds:

With the award of this funding, Heartly House intends to create a marketing and awareness campaign that will be shared across various platforms online and in print to educate the public on the issue of interpersonal violence and to make our county aware of the services we offer 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The most immediate message will be that “Heartly House is #StillHere,” and subsequent messages will include educational components, such as interactive webinars and informative videos on sexual violence, bystander intervention training, human trafficking awareness, and our core messages around violence prevention and survivor support.

Project Purpose: This request is for supplemental funds required by Faith House to continue sheltering women and children who are experiencing homelessness in the Frederick area, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Issues faced due to COVID-19:

  • Loss of revenue due to lack of fee-for-service opportunities

  • Lost revenue due to decline in individual giving

Impact Statement:

Faith House 90 Day Program and the Faith House Transitional Living program are both being negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Faith House Transitional Living program was to begin housing women and women with children in the month of March 2020, in eleven individual apartment style settings, at a monthly program fee that is inclusive of living expenses and well below local housing averages for comparable quarters. This program did have its first participants move in, a mother and her two children, just before the program had to be suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The immediate impact to the program has been a loss of revenue from program fees, as only one of the eleven units were able to open to qualified participants. The remaining ten apartment units are being repurposed immediately to house current residents of the Faith House 90 Day program in areas that are individually spaced, and therefore less communal in nature, in an effort to reduce the possibility of infection in the housed community by reducing proximity to each other. Additionally, these individual accommodations are necessary to house several current residents who suffer from pre-existing medical conditions that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have identified as most susceptible of succumbing to the COVID-19 virus.

Use of Funds:

The ability to provide individual quarters to our 90 Day residents is a blessing that will certainly stem the spread of any illness within the 90 day program population. While this access to additional individual housing is essential to the safety of the 90 Day residents, it is having a negative financial impact on the Faith House Transitional Housing program through lost revenue of more than $5,000 each month since we are unable to house Transitional Living residents in the apartments.

Our request for $10,000 will enable us to stem this financial hardship in the Transitional Living program and continue to serve and keep safe the participants in our 90 Day program, for the next two months. While the COVID-19 virus is impacting the Transitional Living program, the 90 day shelter program is significantly interrupted. Three women have lost jobs and the other five women can no longer pursue independent living. While Faith House is blessed with a 24/7 team, more supervision is being required with the "Stay at Home" directive. Funds will be used to compensate for lost and anticipated income.


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