Mary Kay Foundation awards grant to First Step

| October 22, 2015

COSHOCTON – First Step, Family Violence Intervention Services, a local women’s shelter serving Coshocton County received a $20,000 grant from The Mary Kay Foundation℠.

In advance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, the foundation has awarded $20,000 in grants to 150 domestic violence shelters in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico for a total of $3 million.

While more than half of the grant recipients use the unrestricted funds for basic operating expenses, others hire much needed personnel, complete repairs and facility renovations or add programs and resources based on the unique needs of their shelter and the clients they serve. First Step, Family Violence Intervention Services will use the grant funding to provide critical support for its operation needs of Hope House Shelter.

“At First Step, Family Violence Intervention Services, we are incredibly grateful for support from The Mary Kay Foundation℠ and its commitment to break the cycle of domestic violence,” said Victoria L. Laudick, executive director. “The Mary Kay Foundation Grant will be utilized for the needs of Hope House Shelter. The funds will allow the agency to continue 24-hour services to victims of domestic violence, their children and pets. The grant also provides the needed local funds to match federal grants received for victim’s services.”

First Step Family Violence Intervention Services mission statement is “To promote safety to victims of violence through education, counseling, advocacy, and shelter when needed to any person suffering from the effects of family violence and/or sexual assault and to promote non-violent behavior by educating perpetrators of violence.”

First Step, Family Violence Intervention Services provides the following services to victims of violence: Hope House Shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, their children and pets. Services provided to residents include food, clothing, personal products, case-management, advocacy, support services, networking and referrals. A 24-hour helpline is available through Hope House. 24-hour on-call advocacy to meet with victims of violence is available during evenings and weekends. Additional victim services for survivors not residing at Hope House include individual support sessions; weekly support group; and court advocacy specific to civil protection orders. Prevention programs include elementary, middle school and high school prevention/education programs; school youth advocate; after school mentoring program and community presentations. Men’s group and women who resort to violence is a 25 week education group for perpetrators of domestic violence.

“Mary Kay has a long-standing commitment to prevent and end domestic violence,” said Anne Crews, board member for The Mary Kay Foundation℠ and vice president of public affairs for Mary Kay Inc. “While progress has been made in the United States in meeting the needs of the thousands of domestic violence survivors who seek help each and every day, there remains a significant gap between funding and resources. We know from our work with shelter directors across the nation that the foundation’s annual grants are a lifeline for many shelters and continue to impact an epidemic that touches one in every four women.”

Since 2000, The Mary Kay Foundation℠ has donated $35.6 million to domestic violence organizations through its annual shelter grant program. Each year, grants are awarded to at least one domestic violence shelter in every state with the remaining grants distributed based on state population. U.S. territories including Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands have also received funding through the shelter grant program. Approximately 625 domestic violence shelters applied for funding this year.

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