In January, we donated the funds raised during our Casual Fridays to Haven of Grace Ministries. We raised $120 and the company matched it for a total of $240.
Haven of Grace Ministries was created in 1991 by executive director Judith Lajoie. She is a domestic abuse survivor who wanted to help women create a safer, healthier, and happier life.
Since that time the Haven of Grace Ministries has grown substantially. Today, they focus on three major components to help women and their families. The first is a two-year residential program which acts as a short-term shelter for battered women and helps others transition from prison and drug rehabilitation facilities.
The program goes far beyond providing the sorely needed safe, clean environment these women need. Participants are also required to receive job training or enter an educational program. They must also volunteer at the Haven after six months of residency. Residents also receive driver’s education and money management training needed for independent living.
The numbers speak for themselves. Haven of Grace has housed 53 residents since 1993 and 30 of them have entered college. Many residents go above and beyond the volunteering requirement and help out at schools, nursing homes and soup kitchens, too.
Community outreach is the second important part of Haven of Grace’s approach. They provide individual and group counseling, spiritual support and much needed food, clothing and household items to community members weekly.
Finally, Haven offers a violence and substance abuse prevention program through the Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts school system. Students from elementary level through senior high school can participate in the Students Against Violence Everywhere (S.A.V.E.) program.
This six-session program provides education on the various forms of abuse and teaches prevention and relationship skills so students can avoid abusive behaviors. The program also delves into the connection between substance abuse, self-esteem, decision-making and relationships. Students also learn techniques to resist peer pressure and control strong emotions such as anger and jealousy.
Haven of Grace also conducts parent workshops and teacher trainings and helps schools create resource centers for students. Their holistic approach is meant to prevent abuse at a young age and treat the body, mind and spirit of those negatively affected.
Loiselle Insurance supports their efforts to overcome poverty, abuse and violence in the Greater Woonsocket region. We contribute annually, which is important as Haven of Grace Ministries operates entirely on donations from private individuals, foundations and civic group. They do not receive state or federal funding.
If you would like to contribute to this worthwhile cause, donations can be made by mail or in-person at 53 Coe St, Woonsocket, RI 02895. Alternatively, contribute online via Charity Navigator.