The families leaving Grace Smith House Shelters or residing in Brookhaven Apartments often need continued advocacy and support. We have found that the families have a better chance of finding housing and, even more important, staying in the same housing for a longer period if they remain actively involved in our Non-Residential Program.
We are pleased to say, that true to our mission, through the Non-Residential Program, we are now able to reach out even further to survivors in the community regardless of their prior contact (or lack thereof) with our agency.
The components of the Non-Residential Program have been developed from the experiences and needs of victims and families and are designed to assist each individual and family progress toward nonviolence, self-sufficiency, and permanency in housing. Services include individual counseling, court advocacy, advocacy and referrals within the community, support groups, and children's groups.
The Non-Residential Program also runs a clothing and food closet and receives donations of household items for the families.
- Special Programs
With the help of individual and community groups, the Non-Residential Program has been able to offer a variety of activities and events for the families in the program such as summer outings, picnics, holiday celebrations, pot luck dinners, children's reading groups, teachings in mediation skills, nutrition, relaxation, housekeeping, Playback Theatre, etc. All of these help families feel like part of the community and help them network with others. Most of these efforts have been based on volunteer help.
- Community Education
Staff and veteran clients of the agency are involved in educating the community about domestic violence and the services available. This is done by speaking to community groups, interviews in newspapers/magazines, speaking at or conducting workshops, sending letters to the editor, speaking at legislative hearings, being part of various committees, speaking up at rallies, lobbying in Albany at budget time and sending speakers to classrooms in high schools and colleges in the area.
- Latina Community Services
Grace Smith House has responded to the needs of our growing Latina community by employing a full time bilingual Latina Outreach Worker who coordinates follow-up services for Latina families affected by domestic violence.
- Child Protective Services
(Domestic Violence Liaison)
This full time staff member screens all new CPS cases for the presence of domestic violence and acts as a liaison between the CPS and DV service providers to identify gaps in service and foster cooperative relationships.
- Department of Social Services
(Domestic Violence Liaison)
This full time staff member, also known as the "Family Violence Prevention Case Manager," is positioned to assist victims who apply for public assistance, helping identify options available to ensure their safety, providing basic information on the nature of domestic violence and its effects on children, and informing victims of legal, financial and housing options.
- Family Court Advocate
This full time, bilingual (English/Spanish) staff member is positioned at Family Court to assist victims petitioning for an Order of Protection.