No More Lies & Bruises Event A Success

The event “No More Lies and Bruises” took place on March 14, 2014. At the event, musician Josh Owens debuted a beautiful song about the horrible consequences of domestic violence. Watch a video of the event below, and get a download of the live debut of “Lies and Bruises” HERE.

Homeless Point-In-Time Count in the Upstate

Each year, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires a count of homeless individuals across the nation. The resulting data allows the government to assess local service providers’ funding needs.  On January 23th, 2014, the Upstate Homeless Coalition will coordinate a street and shelter count of homeless individuals in 13 counties across the Upstate.

A safe, efficient, and accurate count is required to meet the needs of veterans, families, and other individuals who have no safe place to stay in Greenwood County. Last year, volunteers counted 238 people who are experiencing homelessness in Greenwood County.  Because a large portion of Greenwood is rural, it is difficult to count everyone—and professionals estimate this number is too low to be accurate. This year, county coordinator Candace Timmerman and the team of local partner agencies and volunteers are hoping to get numbers that accurately reflect the situation here in Greenwood.

Although the PIT Count helps agencies serve the less fortunate, it also benefits local taxpayers. While it may not be obvious, the chronically homeless create significant costs to city governments.  A recent cost study on homelessness found that placing four chronically homeless persons into permanent supportive housing can save more than $80,000 a year.

The Upstate Homeless Coalition hopes to provide effective and sustainable solutions to the problem of homelessness—by helping with the count, members of the Upstate community are invited to do their own small part.

The Mayor’s 5K Walk/Run for Homeless Awareness

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Join the Mayor, Meg’s House, and umbrella programs Hope and GAMES as they work to bring awareness to the homeless population in Greenwood.

We’ll be giving out shirts, trophies, and gift bags. Plus, there’s a chance to win free food from uptown restaurants like TW Boon’s, Howard’s, and Buffalo Grill — just for coming out and participating!

The race kicks off November 23rd at 11:00AM at the fountain on Main Street. Finish just in time for lunch uptown!

Register online now for a reduced fee!  www.mayors5k.eventbrite.com

 

 

A Message From The Executive Director – Spring 2013

This past year at Meg’s House has been challenging and extremely rewarding. Meg’s House provides services and programs to meet the critical needs of victims of domestic violence and their dependent children. Additionally, Meg’s House has umbrella  programs that serve homeless families and chronically homeless and disabled individuals. Our vision is to be a leader by working constantly to serve all victims of domestic violence and support homeless issues in our community.

Here are some of our past accomplishments: acquiring stable funding to sustain our programs, coordinating with other agencies to help our program participants, coordinating with local colleges and universities to promote awareness, advocating for underserved populations, and working with local businesses, churches, and community groups to provide awareness. We hope to accomplish much more in the upcoming year and we will reach out to partner with a multitude of agencies, businesses, individuals, media  outlets, and organizations to accomplish our goals.

Meg’s House will continue to provide training, education programs, and community outreach to those concerned with domestic violence. We must continue to involve the entire community to help in this important work. In doing this very thing, we make Greenwood a better place for all. Thank you for your continued support.

 

 

Alice Hodges, PhD

Executive Director

Haircuts for Hope

Greenwood, SC – This week, clients of Project Hope got treated to a day at the salon, through an effort between Meg’s House and Cypress Hair and Nail Studio. The clients – homeless individuals with disabilities – were given new haircuts and had their nails painted, and left feeling fresh and rejuvenated.

Employee Sara Collins of Project Hope – an umbrella program of Meg’s House providing long-term housing for homeless individuals with disabilities – set up the project with the goal of giving the clients a chance to enjoy a new, clean cut. “Our clients come from many different backgrounds and living situations, and many don’t have the funds for a regular haircut.”

Cypress employees spent the day styling hair, painting nails, and getting to know the people of Project Hope.  Client Curtis Franklin (pictured) received a new “hair style” and enjoyed the services. According to Jillian McDonald, manager at Cypress, “Getting a haircut is a renewing process, and can be a powerful tool to restoring positivity and hope. Making everyone feel good from head to toe is our biggest goal, and we are so glad we could help the clients of Project Hope.”

From left, Brianna Cason-Owings, Jillian McDonald, Christy Cook, Sana English Center, Curtis Franklin

HUD Funding Opportunity – Now Open!

 

The 2012 HUD Continuum of Care competition for the funding of homeless programs is now open. 501(c)(3) organizations and units of local government are eligible to apply. All new programs must be for permanent housing for chronically homeless persons/families. The project can be for one year. The total amount available is $301,991. Applications for these projects must be submitted to:

Michael Chesser, Executive Director
Upstate Homeless Coalition of South Carolina
150 Executive Center Drive, #B211
Greenville, SC 29615

in hard form by the 16th of December.  You may email your application to mdc@upstatehomeless.com.

See https://esnaps.hudhre.info/projectapps.cfm for applications.  Details of the program may be obtained at www.hudhre.info.

Meg’s House Partners with Allstate

Photo left to right: Christina Hjalmer, Allstate Personal Financial Rep. Denise Taylor, and Candice Timmerman.

The South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault received a grant to cover expenses related to Allstate’s Financial Management Curriculum. They chose 5 member programs around the state, with MEG’s House being one of them. Allstate puts it best when they say, “Moving Ahead Through Financial Management Curriculum helps survivors of domestic violence move from safety to long-term security. The curriculum is broken up into 5 topics including: understanding financial abuse, learning financial fundamentals, mastering credit basics, building financial foundations, and creating budgeting strategies.

Dr. Alice Hodges stated that, “I am extremely pleased with this endeavor to help victims of domestic violence and Christina and Candice have done an excellent job coordinating and presenting the curriculum to some of our clients.”

Christina Hjalmer added, “This information has been extremely helpful to our clients in teaching them where to start in setting financial goals for their future.”

For more information about programs and services at Meg’s House call 864-227-1890 or stop by the satellite office located at 929 Phoenix Street in the United Center Building.

 

The GAMES Program Breaks Cycles of Abuse

The GAMES Program helps break the cycle of abuse.

After a childhood of physical and sexual abuse, Paula (name changed for confidentiality) was left emotionally broken and unable to trust anyone. For many years, she attempted to seek help, but her cries were unheard. Although her mother was present throughout her childhood, she was emotionally distant due to the stress of living with an abusive partner. She watched as her mother was belittled and occasionally battered. While her mother was working, the abuse was turned towards her. She was sexually assaulted multiple times. When she finally gained the courage to disclose the abuse, her accusations were ignored by the authorities. She was hopeless; she ran away. Not knowing where to turn, she internalized the pain and turned to alcohol and drugs in her late teens and early twenties.

Her drug habit and risky behaviors resulted in an unplanned pregnancy. Addicted, pregnant, and homeless, she finally sought rehabilitation. After months of intensive counseling, she successfully completed the rehabilitation program and was ready to start a new life with her child. The GAMES transitional housing program provided her with housing and supportive services. During her stay in the program, she set and achieved many goals. She returned to school, obtained a full time job, and continued to remain sober. After two years, she attained permanent housing. The GAMES program provided her with a second chance, an opportunity to improve her education, and the tools to become self sufficient.

Shelter for the Strong-Hearted

by Stacie Smith, DV Counselor/ Volunteer Coordinator

As the newest staff member at MEG’s House, I was asked to write an article about my experiences since coming on board in September of last year. When I think back over the many faces of the women and children who have come and gone from MEG’s since my coming aboard, the thing that stands out the most in my mind is the tremendous strength and courage of those women.

I have worked in social services all my life, and have had many experiences with social problems and the hardships people face. Never before though, have I been so inspired by the inner resiliency of the clients I am working with.

The women I am working with have stories of hardship that often predate an abusive relationship with a recent partner. Many have broken childhood histories, financial struggles, obstacles that they have faced educationally, and a lifetime of difficult choices. Part of my role as their caseworker and counselor is to motivate and encourage them to make positive changes toward a brighter future. However, it is often I who end up being encouraged.

I have witnessed women with bruised bodies taking time to uplift a newcomer to the shelter and make them feel welcome. I have seen women with little or no family support become each other’s family. I have watched as women come into the shelter with little to smile about gradually grow wide smiles with contagious laughter. Daily I am privileged to walk alongside some of these brave women on a piece of their road to new tomorrows, and it has been the highest honor.

If you too are interested in working with women who are recovering from an abusive relationship contact Stacie about volunteer opportunities and the many ways you can help at (864) 229-8141.

A Message from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

I want to begin by saying thank you for making 2014 another year in which Meg’s House was in a position to provide much needed services for domestic violence victims in our community. The dedicated staff has done an outstanding job responding to the needs of those we serve. In addition, we have had tremendous community support. We have also witnessed an increase in support of our efforts because of the national spotlight on domestic violence.

We have experienced positive legislation in South Carolina to add more accountability when perpetrators are convicted and charged with criminal domestic violence. The South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence led the way in legislative advocacy and has continued to stay abreast of the process and provide technical support for our program.

Our continued goal is to continue our efforts to be a leader in our community responding to the needs of domestic violence victims. As experts in the area of domestic violence, we provide support and assistance to other agencies, churches, schools, colleges, universities, and businesses in our service area.

In addition, Meg’s House has taken the lead in strengthening and uniting the GAMES (Greenwood, Abbeville, McCormick, Edgefield and Saluda) chapter of homeless service providers in our community.

During the year 2015, we plan to continue our programs and services and utilize all partner agencies to reduce the number of domestic violence related cases and save lives. We invite you to continue to be supportive of our efforts because together we can make a difference and have a significant impact in our community.

 

Alice Hodges, PhD

Executive Director