THE MARY KAY FOUNDATION(SM) AWARDS GREEN GABLES HAVEN $20,000 GRANT FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND AWARENESS
HASTINGS, MI (October 01, 2012) GREEN GABLES HAVEN a local domestic violence shelter serving the Barry County, MI area received a $20,000 grant from The Mary Kay Foundation(SM). In observation of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, The Mary Kay Foundation(SM) awards $20,000 grants to more than 150 domestic violence shelters across the country for a total of $3 million.
Green Gables Haven will use the grant to provide critical support for its Operations Expenses, which according to Janie Bergeron, Green Gables Haven’s Executive Director is the most difficult to receive. “Many grantors don’t realize that a domestic violence shelter such as ours must be staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year”, said Bergeron. She continued, “Most are resistant to provide supportive funding for salaries but for us, even though our wages are certainly kept to a minimum, is our largest expense. It proves to be our largest challenge each funding cycle.”
Since Green Gables Haven opened its doors in April, 2004, the organization has provided sanctuary, food, clothing, personal needs items, legal, medical and social advocacy, emergency transportation, direct services, case management and referrals to over an astounding 1,216 individuals with 566 of those being children in crisis situations. This level of service would not be possible without the concern and commitment of local government, area businesses, agencies, organizations, churches and caring individuals in our community; and special gifts such as this one granted by The Mary Kay(SM).
Bergeron indicated that this incredible grant will provide a much needed kick start to Green Gables Haven’s 9th year in operation. “The Mary Kay Foundation(SM) is committed to breaking the cycle of domestic violence.” said Anne Crews, Mary Kay Inc. Vice President of Government Relations and board member for The Mary Kay Foundation (SM). “Through our grants, we honor and support shelters across the country that are having a profound impact for women and children in their communities.
Since 2000, we have granted $31 million to help domestic violence shelters meet their critical needs The Mary Kay Foundation(SM) was created in 1996, and its mission is two-fold: to fund research of cancers affecting women and to help prevent domestic violence while raising awareness of the issue. Since the Foundation’s inception, it has awarded nearly $31 million to shelters and programsaddressing domestic violence prevention and more than $18 million to cancer researchers and related causes throughout the United States. To learn more about The Mary Kay Foundation SM, visit marykayfoundation.org or call 1-877-MKCARES (652-2737).
Green Gables Haven was established as a result of then Probate Judge Richard Shaw and his request that the Barry Community Resource Network (the county’s human service collaborative body) study and verify a seeming increase in homelessness and domestic violence in the county. The study confirmed the increase. The study further identified that the state designated shelter in urban Battle Creek was not adequately serving Barry County residents. From January through September 30, 2003, only 6 women and 5 children were housed in the Battle Creek shelter. Two additional women were able to access Allegan County’s shelter. Although some women were contacting the Barry County United Way, the Barry Community Chamber of Commerce and the Victim Advocates Program rather than contact the Calhoun County Shelter, most of the women and children remained un-served and at risk. The Calhoun shelter was taking Calhoun County residents as a priority and turning away Barry County residents. The lack of public transportation between the counties was a serious problem. It is difficult to maintain enough volunteers with the ability to respond in a crisis situation and provide transportation. Finally, women and children from Barry County were not willing to subject themselves to further trauma by leaving the county, their support groups, and their children’s school.
The Barry County Resource Network decided that Barry County needed a crisis events shelter in the county and formed a committee. They began the process by reviewing the McKinney-Vento Act, listing all of the homelessness and domestic services in the county, visiting other shelters and starting the process to form a non-profit corporation. In November 2001, Articles of Corporation forming “Green Gables Haven” were forwarded to the State of Michigan to formally establish a corporation whose purpose is “to provide resources shelter and assistance to individuals and families at risk as a result of domestic violence and crisis events in Barry County, Michigan. On April 1, 2004, Green Gables Haven opened its doors resulting in service provided to 1,216 individuals with 566 of those being children in crisis through August 31, 2012.
It is the mission of Green Gables Haven is to provide a temporary, secure nurturing environment and support to enable victims of domestic violence in Barry County to make the appropriate life altering changes.
To learn more about Green Gables Haven contact Janie Bergeron, PO Box 388, Hastings, 49058 or by calling 269.804.6021.