FUNDING CUTS GIVES EMERGE! THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE ON THE LEADING EDGE OF CHANGEby Hot Off The Press (Release) on Jan. 17, 2013, under Press Releases
Monique Lopez, Marketing & Events Coordinator
Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse
Phone: 520.795.8001 x. 7023; Fax: 520.795.1559
FUNDING CUTS GIVES EMERGE! THE OPPORTUNITY
TO BE ON THE LEADING EDGE OF CHANGE.
(Tucson, AZ) January 16, 2013
A new economic reality is upon us. Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse has sustained $1 million in budget cuts from government funding sources over the last several years. It’s hard to look at funding cuts as an opportunity, but that’s exactly what we did.
In the midst of these turbulent economic times, we recognized we were on the precipice of something else. The entire field of domestic abuse service provision is about to change. These funding cuts, odd as it may sound, have given us the opportunity to be on the leading edge of this change. We began by asking ourselves some provocative questions that to led us to new possibilities:
- 1. What if shelter was not the ultimate solution for domestic abuse? What if shelter was the last option, only used in case of extreme danger, not the first option?
Once we opened to this possibility, the research phase began. It included extensive research on programs nationally, and analysis of the people we serve locally. We have known all along that families coming in to shelter leave behind all of their possessions, their pets, their support system in order to start over. They, in many cases, were doing this even though it was not entirely necessary for their immediate safety—they just didn’t have a better option.
To that end, Emerge! is launching a Housing First program—an alternative to shelter. Modeled after a program in Portland, Oregon, (with an 82% success rate according to a CDC study) our Housing First program will meet the needs of our clients who are not in immediate danger. The program will provide assistance to people impacted by domestic violence to help them establish a new home and begin living a life free of abuse. The cost? Nearly half that of shelter.
We will always have shelter for individuals escaping immediate physical danger. However, our research showed that only 38% of the people using shelter actually needed that level of service. The remaining 62% needed a safe new home, but not shelter.
“Our new economic reality could have been harsh, had we chosen to see it that way.” says Sarah Jones, CEO of Emerge!. “Emerge! has an incredible ability to adapt and find better ways to serve people in need. However, careful planning and a lot of hard work have yielded amazing results; results that will ultimately provide better outcomes for the people who seek our services.”
About Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse
Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse (www.emergecenter.org) in Tucson, Arizona, is dedicated to stopping the cycle of domestic abuse by providing a safe environment and resources for victims and survivors of all types of abuse on their journey toward healing and self-empowerment. Established in April 2008 as a result of the merger between the Tucson Centers for Women and Children (founded in 1975) and the Brewster Center Domestic Violence Services (founded in 1963), Emerge! operates an emergency shelter in addition to providing crisis intervention, individual and group support, life skills development, prevention, a community-based childcare center and community education.