October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
We are elated to be invited to participate in multiple education, information, and awareness events this October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). As a longstanding and trusted domestic violence organization in the District, our team looks forward to raising awareness by speaking openly and honestly about abuse and how we can support survivors. We share the lived experience of the survivors we serve, the available interventions in the community, and bringing attention to the gaps in resources as a call to strengthen and support the efforts to end domestic violence. We have the honor of participating in a focus group for domestic violence shelters and advocacy organizations hosted by the office of Congresswoman Eleanor Norton. We will also be speaking at domestic violence awareness events hosted by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA), University of Maryland, as well as the Department of Human Service Domestic Violence Inter-agency meeting. 
Supporting Success
Samantha* came to Sanctuary Plus with two young children when she was 45 years old, after surviving more than fifteen years of physical and verbal abuse at the hands of her former partner. When she arrived, she had nothing – no clothing, diapers, or necessities for her children. She came from a broken family and had a physical disability that made her feel hopeless. It was very clear that she needed MSP. Arriving just after dark, after cunningly tricking her abuser (which allowed her to make a safe exit), she was exhausted and depleted.  

MSP’s emergency shelter immediately sprang into action and provided her the space and support she needed to build confidence, as well as making sure she had everything she needed, including diapers, feminine hygiene products, and most of all, a safe shelter for her and her children – free from violence. Shelter staff and residents encouraged her, and helped her ease into the community through outdoor activities, participation in support groups, and individual counseling, which helped her learn more about, and navigate, her disability. She learned how to identify and build healthy relationships, reconnected with lost family members, and transitioned to RISE (Reaching Independence through Survivor Engagement) after 11 months. Samantha is now in college and looks forward to starting her own business. At this time of year, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Samantha’s words ring loud and true, sharing the impact of our life-saving work. “Survivors need support more than anything. Because of MSP I know there are people who care about what I have been through and who are standing beside me every day to make sure my kids and I are safe. Thank you MSP for just being here for me.” 

*This name has been changed to protect the survivor’s privacy.
Strengthening Students
This Month, MSP was fortunate to have the support of many donors and organizations, who helped ensure that the youth in our care started the school year off right, with all the supplies they need to be successful in their new learning environments! Special thanks go out to RCN & Girls Night Out by Shawn Yancy, who helped make sure the kids have what they need for school this year. We hope you are inspired by our generous donors, and that you will translate that inspiration into action by continuing to support our work and mission.
Looking Forward (to FY21)
We are thrilled to report that Fiscal Year 2020 was a year of growth for My Sister’s Place, allowing us to serve more families than ever. With the generous support of private donors, government partners, and our amazing volunteers, we were able to serve more families fleeing domestic violence than ever before! This past fiscal year, we greatly expanded programs at our shelter and in the community. We were able to be the catalyst for a new domestic violence legal clinic that is located in the heart of the immigrant community in Columbia Heights. We created the Fresh Start Fund to enhance our Move-In Program, and even hired a full-time Art Therapist. This year was exciting – but we couldn’t make these strides without your support.  Thank you for helping to make this past fiscal year a success, and most of all, thank you for helping to support the many families who come to MSP seeking refuge. 
Help MSP Meet the Growing Need for Support
  • Make a one-time or recurring donation to support our mission, including the Fresh Start Fund to provide safe housing for survivors of domestic abuse.

  • Provide basic necessities such as diapers, wipes, blankets, and feminine products via our Amazon Wish List.

  • Contribute to The Fresh Start Fund! The Fresh Start Fund will help survivors and families fleeing DV furnish their new homes, help with moving expenses, and help cover unplanned or unexpected costs, as they work to stabilize their lives.