1. Tell us a bit about your business.
On May 28th we will be celebrating our 40th anniversary! We were founded in 1980 by a group of women, now known as our Founding Mothers, who saw the need for a crisis hotline for domestic abuse victims, which then turned into an emergency shelter for them and their children who were fleeing abusive homes.
- How has COVID-19 impacted the daily operations of your business?
As an organization we have definitely felt the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on our daily operations. Our Community Educators have been hosting virtual trainings on safe dating and friendship fundamentals to middle schools, high schools, and colleges. The Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) advocates have been working remotely taking calls 24/7, providing safety planning, resource referrals and support to domestic abuse victims in crisis. The staff at our emergency shelter and transitional housing units continue to care for the clients living there. Due to safety concerns, we have not been able to accept new clients into our emergency shelter, but we have been assisting victims with emergency hotel lodging. Our Family Advocate is helping assist the families in the Transitional Housing units with their children’s virtual learning. We have continued to offer our counseling services using telehealth via phone/ text and video conferencing technology. Using this services allows anyone who is seeking our help to be able to connect with our counselors. Our 24-hour confidential hotline is still open and offering safety planning, support and resource referral.
- How has your business been adapting to the challenges presented by the pandemic?
We have found ways for each of our departments to maintain their services remotely or through technology. While our clients can’t see us in person the way they used to be able to, we are still available for them.
More info: Our 40th Anniversary is on May 28th. We are relaunching our website and will have it ready by that date. We will be promoting our new site on the day of and have been promoting our history in weekly eblasts leading up to the 28th. We are encouraging people to join our mailing list through our current site at www.laurel-house.org to keep up with all of the updates. We will also have a $40 for 40 years campaign on that same day as well.