Making the tough choice to leave an abusive situation in a hurry, 28 people have sought shelter with Safe Haven Cheatham County – Courtney’s House so far this year. Having the needed supplies and volunteers to help these survivors is vital, according to Kathryn Mitchem, Board Member. “We do get some state funding but not nearly enough to cover all the costs. We really depend on donations from individuals and groups,” Mitchem said.
“Often, we get survivors in the shelter that only have the clothes on their back, literally,” said Carol Henegar, Program Director. Personal hygiene items such as body wash, shampoo and conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand soap, deodorant, hairbrushes, and many other items that are not thought of when fleeing, are provided by the shelter and are always needed.
Diapers and baby care items are provided to help make residents transition into shelter life easier, Henegar said. “We also are in constant need of toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent and fabric softener,” she added.
Volunteers are always welcome. They can help with day-to-day operations, as well as grant writing or being on the board, Mitchem said. Anyone who wants to volunteer needs to apply, go through an interview process, and have a background check. In addition, every volunteer is trained on how to interact with survivors and their children.
The non-profit organization, which was established in 2015, was a positive outcome of a mother’s grief for her grown daughter who was murdered by her abuser. On May 7, 2012, Courtney Price, 22, and her 15-month-old daughter were packing up to leave their abusive home situation when Price’s husband came home early and opened fire on his wife, shooting her multiple times, killing her. He was sentenced to 24 years without possibility of parole.
For more information about Safe Haven Cheatham County – Courtney’s House, call 615-681-5863 or contact them on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Safehavenofcctn/
If your community group or congregation would like to schedule a Safe Haven speaker to come talk about their work with domestic violence survivors, its great need in Cheatham County, and answer questions about how you can help, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 615-792-3534 (does not receive texts).