By Ronica Shannon
Senior News Writer
The shelter run by Hope’s Wings, a domestic violence advocacy group, recently received a helping hand from the community along with grant funding.
The center was given a dishwasher, thanks to Anchor Baptist Church and another private donor. The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels also awarded the nonprofit agency a $10,000 grant to use toward the purchase of a reliable vehicle.
“We just brought the van home yesterday,” Executive Director Jennifer Lainhart said Thursday. “It’s used to take the ladies to doctors appointments, family support groups, job interviews, job hunting, extracurricular activities for the kids.”
At the moment, the domestic violence shelter is housing seven women and three children, she said.
From October 2011 to September 2012, there were 25 women in Kentucky killed by their husbands or domestic partners, Lainhart said during an October courthouse rally.
Each year, October is designated as National Domestic Violence Prevention Month.
“Together, we can make changes, and it’s going to take us all standing together,” she said, adding, “This is not OK.”
The shelter was forced to close its full-time operations in February 2010 because of lack of funding.
Rep. Rita Smart (D-Richmond) announced in June that funding was on the way that would enable Hope’s Wings to open its doors once more. The $200,000 grant through the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services provided for two years of shelter operations.
Additional grant funding will allow the 16-bed shelter to operate for the next three years, Lainhart said.
She will soon apply for another Mary Kay grant after a previous grant “was huge in aiding us to get the shelter back open,” she said.
Those who may have things to donate to the center should consider the transitional housing provided by Hope’s Wings.
“Furniture and household donations are especially important to us,” Lainhart said. “We have a transitional housing program that we try to put ladies in after they are out of the crisis situation. Most of the time when we move them into apartments, they move there with nothing.”
Hope’s Wings will accept donations of clothing for both children
and adults, furniture, home/kitchen items, toys and other items. For more information, call the shelter at 623-4095.
“They need to let us know they have a donation so we can give them instructions,” Lainhart said. “Our community is a huge support. I long for the day that we’re not needed, but while we are, we need to do our best to be here. We’re going to continue to work to make sure that we stay in this area.”
Ronica Shannon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6608.