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Dear Diary: April 24

Dear Diary: April 24


Dear Diary…

Week 6 complete!

I am proud to say that we are all healthy, well and surviving the Coronavirus pandemic here at WomenSafe. We continue to provide support to survivors of domestic violence both in and out of shelter.

Our clients are getting a bit antsy. We have seen some clients come and go, but certainly are able to provide continued support and assist with goal related needs including a fully operational emergency shelter. We are monitoring our daily census to keep it below the total bed occupancy in order to maintain social distancing for residents (if at all possible).

Hotline calls are down overall and we fear it may be due to survivors not having an opportunity to escape their homes safely. We rely on our law enforcement partners to assist although we often fear that by the time they are involved it may be too late. The isolation of this beautiful community may also be plaguing us. Unfortunately, without close neighbors, sometimes survivors are left alone and unable to get others involved safely. We have hotel options for survivors who would need quarantined care and also explore ways to reduce exposure for our clients as well as our staff. Anyone in need of assistance should call 1-888-285-5665 for 24/7 crisis needs.

Our WomenSafe team continues to remain productive both on and offsite. Staff have adjusted hours to make sure there is consistent coverage at the shelter and clinicians and outreach staff are successfully incorporating Zoom for Healthcare to maintain connections with clinical and case management services if it is safe to do so. Staff are also handling the day to day needs of our clients and also working together from afar. We are wearing masks onsite and encourage everyone to do the same no matter where they are.

Our Development and Finance Teams had some major successes this week! We continue to thank the government supporters who are working in partnership to continue funding for our services while navigating a whole lot of unknown.

We are grateful to have been named as recipients of funds from the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund announced today. They have pledged $50,000 to maintain the emergency domestic violence shelter, while providing tele-counseling services, case management and basic needs items for adult and child survivors of domestic violence throughout Northeast Ohio. 

As for the rest of the fiscal year, there is so much unknown, but we continue to work to maintain funding for all of WomenSafe services. Next week is our virtual Finance Committee Meeting to discuss where we are at and where we are going as we enter Fiscal Year 2021.

Thank you Amazon shoppers…you are delivering! We are grateful for the donors who have shopped our Amazon wish list (Amazon COVID-19 Wish List), mailed checks to 12041 Ravenna Road, Chardon, Ohio 44024 and also made financial contributions on our website to show they care. We need your support now more than ever!

I continue to close with a list of some of the things I (and many others) are grateful for:

  • My coworkers/friends- I am grateful that we are remaining healthy and well. It has been fun to be able to come together for virtual “social hour” this week to play games and share smiles. It reminds me that we are together while being physically apart. Our WomenSafe Team is one in a million.  Our shelter remains staffed 24/7, everyone is pitching in to cover agency needs, and we are collectively problem solving!
  • My family- I am thankful to work from home and support the kids schooling efforts. Truth be told, I have learned a few new things too! It is wonderful to work and live in a community where the kids are continuing their education via the virtual world. I miss my parents and sisters. A driveway hello isn’t cutting it these days, but I know it is what we have to do to remain safe. I know that I will never take a hug or kiss for granted again. I miss my family as I am sure whoever has made it this far in my letter does too J This said, I have to wrap this Friday very soon…I heard a rumor that there is a drive thru Maple Festival in Chardon. It’s what’s for dinner.
  • Technology- I am grateful for cyber trainings! There have been so many trainings put together by our wonderful partners over the past month and a half. Our staff have been able to participate and expand their knowledge. I even attempted to participate in two webinars at the same time this week (which I will say wasn’t super successful) which tested my brain capacity…or lack thereof J Watch our Facebook page for a LIVE event next week!
  • Those random acts of kindness- Still holds true…we have a wonderful community who is thinking of us during this time. I am lucky to call many my family, friends and neighbors…thank you to many of the generous folks who are making and dropping off meals and items from our needs list. I am particularly thankful for those Girl Scout Cookies. You have to feel like a kid again when eating those yummy treats! We can’t do it without you. So many of you have sent thoughtful texts and emails just to let us know they are thinking of us. It certainly means so much!
  • I’m grateful to be an Ohioan- I am so proud to be a part of a team serving Northeast Ohio. I am thankful to be surrounded by top hospitals, top manufacturers, and organizations right here willing to make a difference in fighting this virus. I am grateful to live and work in Northeast Ohio alongside some of the best law enforcement and social service agencies ever! This said, it looks like we are also making significant progress on keeping the curve low. Let’s behave and hope that we may be able to share company at a restaurant soon….or at least get our hair colored J 

Quote of the week…

"I’m thankful for my struggle because without it, 
I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength." (Alex Elle).

Thank you for keeping WomenSafe in your thoughts and prayers.

Cyber hugs to all of you…


Andrea Gutka, CEO/Executive Director
WomenSafe, Inc., the Green House

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