It has almost been a year since Safe Center hosted their first gala, where they changed the name from “Women’s Haven,” and announced the move to a new space.
After the success of the first one for the United Way agency, they were about to offer more to people in Stephens and Jefferson Counties according to board member Laura Goldring.
“The Safe Center offers emergency services including emergency shelter, a 24 hour crisis hotline, crisis intervention, victim advocacy, court liaisons, and other services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking in Stephens and Jefferson Counties,” she said. “The agency has also expanded to include preventative, education focused services to elementary, middle and high school students through a multi week curriculum centered on healthy relationships and boundaries with a goal of disrupting or preventing the cycle of violence in students’ lives.”
The first gala came from a need for funding. “The majority of the funds Safe Center receives to provide services come through restricted funding sources such as grants,” Goldring said. “Funds can only be used for specific purposes and are not replenished once they have been exhausted for the current fiscal year which has left a monetary gap for the agency when delivering services to victims. In short, we are serving more victims which means that our funding is depleting before the end of our fiscal year.”
So after a successful first go, they are back again with their second annual gala. The event is set for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 10, at the Simmons Center.
Goldring said tickets, tables and event sponsorships can be purchased from any member of the Safe Center board, through the Safe Center office located at 810 N 5th, or by phone (580) 252-5324. Individual tickets are $35 each, tables (8 tickets) are $250, and event sponsorship begins at $500. The organization is still in need of a Gold Level Sponsor for the event. “The reality is that as we become more visible in Stephens and Jefferson Counties, the number of victims and services increases which means our financial needs increase,” she said. “We need another successful gala this October to make sure that we have adequate funding to provide the services that our victims and their family members need the most. We need ongoing financial support from unrestricted funding sources to maintain services when restricted funds are exhausted.”
If all goes well there are some plans for the funds to fill a gap in service. “The plans for proceeds from this year’s gala include hiring a staff member to conduct supervised parenting visits for our clients and the general public,” Goldring said. “This is an identified need of the population we serve because there is a lack of service providers in our two county area and our clients need a safe environment for mandatory visitation to occur while working through the legal process of leaving a batterer.”