2020 has been a year like no other, but despite the difficulties, we continue to see lives changed and find hope through the stories of domestic violence survivors served by YWCA Dayton in Montgomery and Preble counties.
This fall, a pregnant domestic violence survivor entered YWCA Dayton’s Preble County shelter in need of care. While in shelter, the survivor participated in case management services, which provided her with resources to obtain food and medical benefits through Preble County Job and Family Services and had access to counseling services through Samaritan Behavioral Health and Recovery & Wellness of Midwest Ohio.
The survivor entered YW’s shelter with very little for herself and nothing to care for her baby, whose due date was just weeks away. Shelter staff provided personal hygiene and household items, along with what baby supplies they had on hand, but they knew she needed more.
A call for community support led to an outpouring of donations. Shelter staff collected baby furniture, diapers, wipes, clothing, toys, a car seat and more to help the survivor prepare for the birth of her son.
YWCA staff also connected the survivor with The Common Good of Preble County, who, through their Once Around Shop thrift store, assisted her with additional clothing and food needs.
“The survivor was able to have all her and her baby’s needs met,” said Courtney Griffith, director of rural strategy for YWCA Dayton. “This really put her mind at ease and allowed her to focus on her son’s birth.”
Heather Seymour, Preble County domestic violence case manager, spoke of the client’s appreciation for the support she received while in shelter.
“She was a client that I won’t forget,” said Seymour. “She was so appreciative and thankful for everything we were able to do for her. She entered shelter full of dread and anxiety not being prepared for him and eventually transitioned into permanent safe housing having all of her and her new son’s needs met.”
Each holiday season, YWCA Dayton’s Preble County office hosts an adopt-a-family holiday drive to ensure that survivors and their children have gifts for the holidays. This survivor and her newborn son are among those who will receive gifts this year – and one of her sponsors is a family whose son was born just a few days after the survivor’s.
YW’s staff worked with the client to help her secure rapid re-housing assistance, allowing her to quickly move from the shelter to permanent housing. A few weeks ago, she and her son moved into a new home located a safe distance away from her abuser.
The client has remained in shelter aftercare services and kept in touch with YW staff, like Seymour, sharing photos of her son and expressing gratitude for all that YWCA Dayton was able to help her achieve.
“I am so proud of her for her determination and all she was able to accomplish in such a short time,” said Seymour.
This story reminds us that our work could not be accomplished without the generosity of our community and those who give. To join us in our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women, visit www.ywcadayton.org/donate.
If you, or someone you know, is experiencing domestic violence, YWCA Dayton can help. 24/7 Crisis Hotline: 937-222-SAFE.