Providing Hope Forever
An Endowment Campaign
Having Nowhere Safe to Go
“I’m so thankful for the shelter that Green Gables Haven provides. I slept through the night for the first time in a year knowing I was finally safe.”
– a survivor
One Victim’s Story
The first time it happened, “Annie” and her husband were at the hospital. Their son had just been diagnosed with leukemia. Inexplicably enraged, her charming, handsome husband threw her violently across the room. Annie remembers the fear and helplessness, but also the embarrassment and shame of nurses witnessing the incident. Later, he apologized, promising never to do it again. But his controlling and abusive behavior slowly crept into their home. A volunteer coach, church elder, and youth leader, he appeared a model husband and dad outside the home. But inside, he was full of violent rage.
The worst abuse came one dark night. Ripping her from bed, he piled dirty dishes on her and burned her clothes. Fearing for her life, she knew she had to leave. But he’d drained the joint bank account and there was nowhere to turn. Friends and family didn’t believe her. Even her minister doubted
the husband was capable of such abuse.
Her best solution? Tuck the kids into bed each night, turn on the baby monitor, and sleep in her locked car in the driveway. The plan worked for a while. But then he turned his abuse toward the children. She had to get them out immediately. Borrowing emergency money from a close friend, Annie moved with her children into an apartment, applied for food stamps, and struggled to make ends meet.
Annie’s story highlights the often-insurmountable problems victims face everyday when trying to escape domestic violence. Green Gables Haven provides help and hope.
Everyday, domestic violence victims right here in Barry County are faced with difficult questions. Do you spend another day in your home with an abusive partner, or do you stay in your car or on the streets? How do you protect your children? Where can you go for help? Without the option of emergency shelter located close to home—for the sake of maintaining employment, support groups, and children’s school routines—most individuals feel they have no choice but to remain with their abuser. In fact, victims return to their abusers an average of NINE times for lack of housing and resources.
Since 2004, Green Gables Haven has been dedicated to changing that by providing direction and solutions. We offer vital, no-cost services to victims of domestic violence including safe shelter, food, counseling, and resources which enable women—and their children—to recover from violence, rebuild self-esteem, and turn things around to regain an independent life, free of abuse.
Over the years, Green Gables has been fortunate to receive federal funding to support our essential work. But in September 2021, that funding was cut, resulting in a $200,000 annual loss to our budget. We can weather the first year on our own, but as we look to the future, we need the support of the community to help us bridge the gap.
To that end, we embark on a three-year Endowment Campaign PROVIDING HOPE FOREVER—in an effort to build a sustainable future for Green Gables Haven. With your financial help, we can ensure domestic violence victims have the assistance they need to become survivors on the road ahead toward health, healing and hope. Forever.
Janie Bergeron, Executive Director
Finding a Better Pathway
“Without Green Gables, I don’t know where my kids and I would be.”
– a survivor
WHERE WE BEGAN
In 1998, Probate Judge Richard Shaw saw a need.
He requested the Barry Community Resource Network—a human service collaborative body— perform a study of a seeming increase in homelessness and domestic violence here in Barry County. The study confirmed the increase, and further identified that SAFE Place—the state designated shelter in urban Battle Creek—was not able to adequately serve Barry County residents while prioritizing their own Calhoun County residents. For example, from January through September of 2003, only 6 women and 5 children from Barry County were housed in the Battle Creek shelter. Two additional Barry County women had to access Allegan County’s shelter for assistance.
Long-distance programs simply weren’t optimal to help victims of broken and abusive homes. The lack of public transportation between counties was a serious problem. Additionally, abused women and children were not willing to subject themselves to further trauma by leaving their home communities, jobs and schools. As a result, most Barry County women and children in need of help remained unserved and at risk.
It was determined that our community needed a dedicated crisis shelter to serve Barry County. A committee was formed and the work began to create the non-profit corporation, Green Gables Haven.
On April 1, 2004, Green Gables Haven opened its doors and has since served 2,235 individuals—854 of those being children—through September 30, 2022.
Who We Are Today
OUR MISSION—to provide a temporary, secure, nurturing environment and supportive services to survivors of domestic violence in Barry County.
For nearly 20 years, Green Gables Haven has been successfully fulfilling that mission. This would not be possible without the incredible support of dedicated and caring community members who have served tirelessly on our board. And while individual leaders and volunteers have come and gone over the years, we remain rooted in providing a safe place for victims for years to come.
Board of Directors
- Stephanie S. Fekkes—PRESIDENT
- Barb Pietrangelo—VICE PRESIDENT
- Kristy Dombkowski—TREASURER
- Becky Zellmer—SECRETARY
- Jennifer DeVault
- Teresa Heide
- Tiffany O’Keefe
- Sarah Price
- Rob Ranes
- Rick Reigler
- Emily Sydloski
- Janie Bergeron—EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Exactly Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence varies dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other. (ncadv.org)
More Than Just Shelter
Space to Grow
“I have confidence and life skills I didn’t have before coming here—thank you!”
– a survivor
What We Do
Green Gables provides more than emergency shelter. We offer compassion paired with invaluable resources, programs, and professional services that empower survivors to grow and rebuild their lives. While our services are free to our clients, the costs involved in all we offer are considerable. The $3 Million 3-year Endowment Campaign— PROVIDING HOPE FOREVER will do just that, adding to the fund already held at the Barry Community Foundation.
This campaign will allow Green Gables Haven to continue to offer:
- safe & comfortable space for up to 14 individuals
- shelter that is available and fully-staffed, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, including weekends & holidays
- individual and group counseling
- victim advocacy and legal resources
- personalized legal accompaniment
- case management services
- assistance in locating suitable housing
- non-resident services for those who have a place to stay but need resources & guidance
- dedicated staff including executive director, legal advocate, case manager & case workers
- 64,778 incidents of domestic violence were reported in 2020 by the Michigan State Police; 258 of these incidents happened right here in Barry County
- Over 100 domestic violence related homicides occur in Michigan every year
- 1 in 3 Michigan families are impacted by domestic violence
- 1 out of 4 women will be abused by a current/former partner at some point in their lives
- Domestic violence crimes account for almost 40% of calls to police
- 50% of the homeless cases among women and children can be attributed to domestic violence
In 2017, Green Gables Haven began receiving an annual Federal Grant of $200,000 which had been instrumental to our work. Then, in 2021, we were notified the grant we depended on had been changed and would no longer be available. Despite this crushing financial blow, we remain on track to cover our operating expenses, but only for the immediate future. Our Green Gables Haven Endowment Fund—created through the Barry Community Foundation—is currently at a level we can draw from, but it will not be enough to ensure continued support. Through this critically important 3-year campaign, our goal is to raise a total of Three Million dollars to build our Endowment Fund to a level that will create long-term sustainable funding.
How You Can Help
Now more than ever, Green Gables Haven relies on support from caring community members like you. Please consider a donation to this important Endowment Campaign. Together, we can help domestic violence survivors rise up from brokenness, and flourish on their journey ahead. PROVIDING HOPE FOREVER.
Levels of Support
- Respect— a monthly gift in the amount of your choice
- Helping—a one-time gift…no amount is too small
Ways to Give
You may donate to the PROVIDING HOPE FOREVER Endowment Campaign in a variety of ways including:
- one-time gift (cash, check, credit card)
- monthly donations
- memorials & special occasion gifts
- legacy & planned giving
MEMORIAL & SPECIAL OCCASION GIFTS
Dedicated gifts are a meaningful way to honor or memorialize someone special, or to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion. Simply complete the DONOR DEDICATION portion of the form (see reverse side), and we will notify those honored with an announcement (gift amount will not be disclosed).
LEGACY & PLANNED GIVING
Those wishing to leave a legacy may include Green Gables Haven in a will or estate plan. Unless specified, unrestricted bequests go safely into our Endowment Fund where the principal is never touched. A spending policy ensures your gift goes into perpetuity. Planned gifts of life insurance, stocks, assets, or charitable gift annuities can also be arranged by
contacting the Barry Community Foundation at 269.945.0526.
At Green Gables, I found safe housing and more importantly, I found self-worth.”
– a survivor