Host Rebecca Dollinger of Your Voice Matters interviews Elizabeth Corley, one of the Directors of Genesis Women’s Shelter in Dallas. The Shelter has been operating in Dallas for 35 years and provides care to women and children impacted by domestic violence.
Genesis Women’s Shelter provides services that include transitional housing and emergency shelter, counseling, and a 24-hour hotline. The organization has been able to add a school on-site at their residential campus and recently added a legal team to assist with divorces and child custody issues. Additionally, all safe houses are in a confidential location. Elizabeth says that one of their goals is to remove every roadblock a woman may face along their journey.
Counselors on staff have a Master’s-level education and work with women on many issues, but often it is to restore the relationship between the mother and the children to restore trust. There are several therapy services for the children through play, art, and music so the children can express and process what they are witnessing at home.
Elizabeth says many people talk about how depressing it must be to work there, but she says that when a woman walks through the doors, she is on the path to safety and hope. She has seen many stories of success. For example, one child many years ago received an art kit at Genesis Women’s Shelter who is now a well-known illustrator.
The emergency shelter allows clients to stay up to eight weeks. Genesis also has 18 full-sized apartments, called Annie’s House, transitional housing in which clients can stay for one year. This allows the women to get back on their feet, get a job, and learn how to take care of themselves. Every client in the residential campus is paired with a counselor and an advocate to help with basic needs.
Genesis Women’s Shelter is currently in the middle of a $15 million capital campaign to build a new facility in the medical district of Dallas which will house counselors, advocates, and legal, administrative and development teams. This will allow them to serve 7,500 women and children, double the amount they currently serve. The facility will break ground in spring 2021.
They have many volunteer opportunities. The easiest way is to go to the website and fill out an application. Opportunities include childcare, sitting with someone in court, or serving a meal. You can do as much or as little as your schedule allows.
Elizabeth says that if you have a friend you are concerned could be in a domestic abuse situation, look for signs of uneasiness and fear. The most important thing you can do is believe a woman if she tells you she has been abused; she has been told over and over that no one will believe her.
For guest and sponsorship information, contact Rebecca at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-729-6307.
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