NEWBURGH – In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October, The Mary Kay Foundation has awarded $3 million in grants to 150 domestic violence shelters in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Safe Homes of Orange County, the only domestic violence agency in the county, received one of the $20,000 unrestricted grants to maintain critical services and programs for individuals who are survivors of domestic abuse.
Safe Homes’ comprehensive support services and violence prevention programs include a 17-bed shelter; a 24-hour hotline; advocacy and accompaniment; liaisons with the Department of Social Services, Child Protective Services, Law Enforcement, and the District Attorney’s Office; individual and group support; financial assistance and education; the Safe Pets Project; and El Abrazo de Mís Hermanas (all the same services and programs in Spanish, and regardless of immigration status).
In 2012, Safe Homes’ advocates answered 3,853 hotline calls and worked with over 3,500 victims. The Safe Homes’ shelter provided services to 81 adult victims of domestic violence and 60 children. Since 2004, when the agency began to keep track of domestic violence homicides in Orange County, 19 women have been killed by intimate partners, and one is still missing.
"The funds received from The Mary Kay Foundation will be divided to help support our Language Line, the Safe Pets Project, and to assist in the purchase of playground and Laundromat equipment for the shelter," said Kellyann Kostyal-Larrier, Safe Homes’ executive director.
For nearly 20 years The Mary Kay Foundation has supported the prevention and elimination of domestic violence, an epidemic that touches 1-in-every-4 women. Through the Foundation’s annual shelter grant program, $34 million have been granted since 2000.
"The Mary Kay Foundation is proud to support local shelters that are on the front lines of helping the thousands of women and children who seek shelter and support from abuse," said Anne Crews, Vice President of Government Relations for Mary Kay Inc. and board member for The Mary Kay Foundation. "The shelter grants are a signature program for The Mary Kay Foundation and represent just one of the ways we are committed to breaking the cycle of domestic violence."