Building the Village of Hope

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Clackamas Women’s Services, along with the Home Builders Foundation and other generous partners, broke ground on the Village of Hope in November.  The Village is the largest emergency shelter in the Portland Metro area for women escaping domestic violence, often with children in tow. It provides a safe home to 13 women and up to 20 children at a time and as many as 100 women a year reside there.

Why We Need the Village of Hope

Nationally, domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families. Survivors often experience dangerous economic challenges. Many abusers will control the family’s finances, making it difficult to leave the relationship or establish financial independence. When a survivor does leave, she can find herself jobless, homeless, in debt, without a completed education. Without these resources, she is unable to provide for her children.

The Village offers a community-centered model that focuses on building safe and supportive connections. The opportunity for survivors of domestic violence to stay connected to their shelter community, particularly for their children, is a key component in breaking the isolation and depression that follow an abusive relationship. But currently, the Village has very little communal space and survivors cannot return to one of the few places that feels safe and stable for them.

Building the Village of Hope

After 30 year of providing emergency shelter for survivors of domestic violence, our program has simply outgrown and outlived the existing house. This new shelter will improve upon the old facility, updating crucial systems and expanding capacity so that survivors can subsequently return to and reconnect with the community of care that had supported them. The new shelter will be a two-story, 7,000 square foot replacement structure that will provide beds for up to 16 guests. It will feature a large communal kitchen, an expanded children’s playroom, an increase in survivor-staff meeting space, a large multi-purpose space for wellness activities and a space to welcome past participants into the community.

Partners

The Homebuilders Foundation (HBF) is a chapter of HomeAid America and the charity of choice for the Home Builders Association of Metro Portland. HBF leverages the generosity of the home building industry to build and renovate transitional housing for those most vulnerable in out community.  Clackamas Women’s Services also partners with Clackamas County, which owns the land that the shelter is built on and is committed to supporting survivors.

This County-produced video provides insight into the Village of Hope project and the unique government, business, and nonprofit collaboration that makes it possible.

For more information about the Village of Hope and the role that you can play in meeting the high demand for services from local women and children trying to escape domestic violence, please contact Chris Wilhite, Director of Development and Communications, at chrisw@cwsor.org or by phone at 503-557-5820.

 

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