WomenSafe, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit domestic violence shelter and resource center in its 40th year of service to survivors of domestic violence. WomenSafe was founded in 1980 by a group of citizens who were concerned about local women and their children who were living in violent homes with nowhere to turn. WomenSafe’s mission is to provide emergency shelter and support services for survivors of domestic violence throughout Northeastern Ohio. As an organization, WomenSafe holds true to the value that only through education can we stop the cycle of violence. By providing education to victims, the community, and to Lake and Geauga County schools, WomenSafe is continuing to raise awareness about the dangers of domestic violence and promote safety to our community. WomenSafe first provided emergency shelter to abused women and their children with the help of volunteers who provided shelter in their own homes. Although eventually employing individuals to run the organization, volunteers have continued to be the core of WomenSafe’s reason for success. WomenSafe uses over 100 volunteers throughout the year to assist with a long list of duties and responsibilities. These individuals are vital to the continuation of WomenSafe’s free, life-saving services including emergency shelter and hotline, counseling and art therapy, court advocacy, Employment Specialist program, Empowered Parent Program, Healthy Relationship Education Program, housing advocacy, donations, relocation, aftercare, peer-support groups, trauma-informed yoga, and more.
As an AmeriCorps volunteer placed at WomenSafe, you will assist with the daily operations and success of the shelter, working with survivors in our care and members of the community. You will become trained in domestic violence response, trauma-informed care, and the needs and resources of our area so you can best serve victims of domestic violence. You will also be assisting the Donations Coordinator to ensure proper supply usage and stock, organizing donations in Roe’s Closet, assisting with relocation of survivors, and providing back-up for the Adopt a Family Program (WomenSafe’s holiday program). As with all staff, you will be responsible for creating a safe, welcoming, home-like environment for our survivors to continue to empower themselves. An AmeriCorps volunteer will provide support for both our direct care staff as well as leadership duties related to engaging partners, volunteers, and advocates in the community. Community education is another key part of WomenSafe’s mission, and you will be asked to assist with events aimed at promoting the knowledge of WomenSafe and its services. A volunteer will also work directly with client’s educational goals. For example, when clients come into WomenSafe, they establish goals with a counselor pertaining to what they want to accomplish over their next three months in the facility.
These goals go on their Individualized Service Plan (ISP) and the AmeriCorps volunteer will be responsible for helping the client meet this goal. One goal may be domestic violence education. With training, AmeriCorps members, counselors, and WomenSafe staff will work together to come up with a safety plan, healthy relationship education, teach what red flags to watch for in relationships, and teach about healthy boundaries. Another goal for a client may be to get a job. An AmeriCorps member would be responsible for helping with resume building and assisting with interviewing skills. Finally, some clients come into WomenSafe and want to receive a formal education. The AmeriCorps member would be responsible for helping the clients prepare for the GED, helping them look for colleges, etc. AmeriCorps members will also learn to refer clients to other agencies in the area like Birth Right.
Respond to our 24-hour crisis hotline; assist with intake of new residents; provide transportations of residents to goal related appointments (job interviews, housing appointments, etc.); offer resources to survivors researching jobs/homes/financial assistance/etc.; in-kind donations intake, processing, organizing, and fulfillment; transportation of donations to Resale Shoppe/other organizations; support the Adopt a Family Program (including volunteer management, wrapping, donation intake, sorting, logistical needs, etc.); assist with providing Healthy Relationship education to community members; and promoting WomenSafe’s services/hotline at events; attend related trainings and staff events.
For more information, visit: WomenSafe, Inc.