The need is great. Your ability to help us greater.
As we move into our sixth month of the COVID-19 public health crisis, I wanted to reach out and give you both an update on our services and an insider’s glimpse into the work here at CORA.
We are rapidly moving towards our new normal. Our community office has re-opened, although much of our workforce continues to be remote. Our client services continue either in person or virtually, and we are grateful that despite the near-constant changes, we have been able to meet this moment in a way that centers on the needs of those we serve.
Our crisis line calls have increased 36% over where we were this time last year. As resources grew scarce, our calls became longer, more complicated, and our callers were citing abuse that carries an increased risk of lethality.
We reduced capacity in our safe houses to ensure families could safely distance from one another. To make sure this reduction did not impact persons needing to flee from a violent home, we increased our motel program. Compared to this time last year, our motel expenses have increased by more than 235% or more than $10,000 each month, not including food and other supportive services.
Our families in housing have also felt the impact of COVID-19. In our supportive housing program, nearly 85% of our clients have lost their jobs due to the virus. CORA was able to fund our client’s rent fully, but this has increased our housing costs by 47%. (That’s a difference of nearly $300,000!)
Throughout all this, our staff are working tirelessly to create a sense of normalcy for those we serve, ensuring our clients have access to culturally appropriate food, helping with back to school supplies, and providing a child who is living out of a motel a small gift for their birthday. One bright spot I carry with me throughout this experience is the big-hearted commitment our teams have shown – to their clients, to the community, and to our mission of providing safety, support, and healing to victims and survivors of abuse.
While this storm has not yet passed, I do look forward with a sense of optimism. Intimate partner abuse did not stop because of COVID and neither did we. This is in part due to the extraordinary work of our staff, the resilience of our clients and because of you. Your generosity is what is seeing us through this challenging time. Your giving helps us flex and move families into motels when no shelter space is available. Your giving helps us provide food and school supplies to children who might otherwise go without. Your giving has allowed our crisis line to be answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We cannot do this work without your support. I am writing today to ask that you give again to ensure this critical work continues now and well into the future.
Colsaria Henderson, MSW
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