"A 1997 survey of homeless shelters revealed that almost 50 percent of women turned away cited domestic violence as the reason for their homelessness."
"The first-ever World Health Organization (WHO) study on domestic violence reveals that intimate partner violence is the most common form of violence in women's lives - much more so than assault or rape by strangers or acquaintances"
Women Are Dreamers Too, Inc. was established in 1998 as a volunteer job placement service for homeless women who were residents of homeless shelters in downtown Atlanta. While providing job placement services to these women, it became clear that the overwhelming majority of them were survivors of domestic abuse. As such, these women had difficulties finding and maintaining stable employment, that were even more complex than other homeless individuals.
Faced with the broader, more complicated needs of these domestic abuse survivors, it became clear that a more intense counseling, short-term shelter, Child nutrition intervention, Literacy Education, and comprehensive approach to job placement was needed.
Today, WaDt is well known as a vital link in the State of GA social service continuum. Over the past 2 decades, WaDt has provided crucial leadership and advocacy in the community on the issues of domestic violence.
Many WaDt volunteers and board members are active in the South East Domestic Violence Council. WaDt plays important roles in statewide coalitions, and has been active in making the system more responsive to the needs of battered women and children, as it relates to their economic welfare, but most importantly that the victims of domestic violence and their children become productive members of the community and are able to sustain themselves economically the 'day after'.
The mission of WaDt is to empower our diverse community to live free from domestic violence. Our services include a 24-hour toll-free crisis line, an emergency shelter, in collaboration with the State of GA county wide coalitions, counseling, information and referrals, support groups, safety planning, legal services and community education presentations. Business Technical training, computer literacy, GED programs and instructions; after-school math and science tutoring for the children. Holiday provisions of emergency needs, food, toys for the children, the 'shoe-box' needs for the women as well as linkages with other non-profits serving the needs of victims of domestic violence and their children.
Staff, Alumni and volunteers contact and inform victims of their rights and resources. Our Alumni since inception have created sustainable businesses and are instrumental in creating jobs in their immediate communities. Their businesses are serving as an engine of economic growth, by stimulating employment creation through income generation. The children are graduating from area colleges on full scholarships and are now volunteers themselves in the after-school math and science tutoring.
All WaDt services are completely confidential, are either free or low-cost and are offered in both Spanish and English, with La Familia program which was added in 2003.
SOUTH EAST La FAMILIA PROGRAM:
In line with innovative models that serve Latino communities throughout the country, La Familia's goal is to identify and rebuild the lives of families affected in the South East Region by domestic violence.
The program addresses all aspects of domestic violence in the Latino community through prevention and intervention services for the entire family.
A bilingual and bicultural team works with families and communities to understand and change the cultural practices and beliefs that contribute to domestic abuse. Services include crisis counseling; safety planning, family interventions, support and assistance with immigration, legal issues and the schools are provided in Spanish and English
WaDt's Response to Domestic Violence Crisis
WaDt addresses Domestic violence crisis by providing a unique, long-term, comprehensive solution that goes beyond emergency services.
WaDt is a collaboration of several non-profit domestic violence and housing service agencies.
WaDt's long-term economic solutions are aligned with programs that help survivors and their children make permanent life changes.
Women and children are enabled to transition into survivors who break the intergenerational abuse cycle.
WaDt's economic solutions provide new, all-encompassing services customized to meet the unique needs of each victim, women and children.
Counseling and mental health options for parents and children
Childcare, tutoring, mentoring, social and cultural activities,
Crisis resolution facilitation , job and legal assistance referral.
Life-skills training, help with accessing community resources
Help with locating permanent housing Instructions
Business technical training
Computer Literacy Programs
Thanksgiving baskets and provisions provided to abused victims and their children
Toys for Tot, Christmas Angel wish
Emergency food and clothing deployment throughout the South East
Hope line cell phone deployment
Help with school supply for the kids
After school math and science tutoring for the children so they may stay engaged and productive a way to escape 'the chaos and issues' around them
In order to achieve and maintain a violence-free life, battered women must address these issues:
Safety, economic self-sufficiency, cultural issues. children's needs, psychological recovery housing
By building on personal success, WaDt's approach fosters positive behavior, self-esteem, marketable job skills, life-skills, micro enterprise and entrepreneurial technical skills as well as community citizenship. The children innocent by-standers are taught self-sufficiency through math and science after-school tutoring, so they too may have a level-playing field into area colleges regardless of their 'home- issues'.
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