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Non profit Faith And Grace Brings Hope To Victims of Domestic Violence

Non profit Faith And Grace Brings Hope To Victims of Domestic Violence
Janet Cruz / 28 Sep 2022 / No Comments » Comments

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By Janet Cruz

According to the Arizona Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, one in four women and one in seven men, will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. That is why one local nonprofit in Lake Havasu City, is providing assistance and support to victims and survivors by providing much needed resources to help them lead a better life.

In 2020, the coalition also reported that 102 people were killed in domestic violence-related homicides. Of those, six were in Mohave County.

“Faith and Grace is the only Lake Havasu City emergency shelter and transition house for families fleeing domestic violence,”  said Kathi DeClark, President of Faith and Grace Inc. “We also offer  a 24-hour hotline.”

DeClark, who is the president of Faith and Grace Inc., began her work when she first volunteered at Sally’s House, a local shelter that was operated under the umbrella of the former Interagency Council, when  she  moved to Lake Havasu City.

Shortly after the shelter closed, she personally experienced how heartbreaking domestic violence can be when her daughter and grand children became victims of domestic abuse. She soon became inspired to open a local shelter and shared her goal with many community-minded people who might be in a position to help realize that dream.

“It didn’t take long. A friend bought our Lake Havasu City houses in January 2019 and asked me to set up a domestic safe house. I took the 40-hour “Sharing” experience through the Arizona Coalition and took advantage of the programs that they offered in order to educate myself on the responsibilities of operating a safe house,” explained DeClark.

Faith and Grace Inc., has since then provided trained advocacy, counseling , safety planning, management services, child care assistance along with paralegal assistance to help victims with their legal paperwork. Survivors also have access to financial literacy instruction, computer classes and community networking.

File Photo / Kathi DeClark, President of Faith and Grace receives a $250 check from Vanessa Liesen on behalf of Soroptimists. Photo courtesy SI.

According to DeClark, and the National Network to End Domestic Violence, housing availability is the most urgent need for survivors with 40 percent of them not leaving an abusive, intimate relationship because they think they have nowhere else to live.

While Faith House provides the opportunity for families to stabilize and evaluate their future needs and opportunities, more time in a residence is needed for them to transition to independent living outside of our emergency shelter.

“That’s why we secured Grace House as our second home that offers transitional living for our families. Head of households who have completed their programs at Faith House, having secured a job and are on the way to achieve their goals, can move to Grace House where their families can comfortably live for as long as a year.”  DeClark said.

Transitional living allows them the time and grace to save for their future where they’ll live independently and free from living in fear from domestic violence.

“We address each person’s individual needs to remove any roadblocks that may lead them back to an abusive home life while focusing on programs that allow them to live independently,” she said.

Faith and Grace is a 501 (c)(3) Organization. For more information on complete services offered, visit https://faithandgraceinc.com/.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, or in need of a safe house, you may call their hotline at 928-302-1358 or message Faith and Grace Inc. at FaithandGraceFriends@gmail.com.

“I am privileged to honor these families and be able to offer essential services that allow them to regain their self esteem and confidence that eventually leads them to living independent lives,” DeClark said.

The London Bridge is lit up purple during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene (Oct. 2021)

Faith and Grace  will host a fundraising luncheon featuring keynote speaker and domestic violence survivor, on Dec. 7 at noon, in Shugrue’s Bridgeview Room with tickets being sold at $50 per person.

To RSVP, call 928-302-1358 or go to FaithandGraceInc.com and click on “December Luncheon” on the home page.

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