July 2022 Newsletter

Congratulations to Shelby and Christian for their recent promotions to leadership positions at FCC! Both are spearheading transformative progress for clients and partners across our programs and services.
Program Services Director
What’s your motivation?
I'm always motivated to understand our clients beyond what they show on the surface. I know we all have layers - inside and outside factors in our lives that contribute to our experiences and behaviors. This is where the real work of healing often begins.

I am excited to step into the role of Program Services Director and continue supporting safe, stable, and thriving families in Baltimore.
Director of Shelter and Housing
What is your hope for families entering shelter?
I hope that when someone enters the emergency shelter, they feel safe, secure, and fully able to begin taking the steps required to heal their emotional and mental pain while feeling well-supported in their search for employment, housing, and a stable, happy future.

I look forward to bringing my clinical knowledge and operations management experience to FCC's largest team, focused on quality care and long-term stability.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Accessing Emergency Shelter Services at FCC

Step 1. First Contact

For housing and shelter, call the Baltimore Intimate Partner Violence Helpline at 410-828-6390 (option 1) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All persons admitted to the shelter must be fleeing domestic violence and in imminent danger.
Step 2. Screening

Our resident advocates, all extensively trained in evidence-based practices for assessing imminent danger, provide an initial screening with callers seeking shelter to get a comprehensive understanding of their unique needs.

Step 3. Informed Consent & Community Agreements

Before acceptance to shelter, clients are informed that FCC’s emergency safe shelter is one where survivors of domestic violence fleeing imminent danger seek refuge. Survivors/victims are welcome to access services regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. All families in the shelter agree to live respectfully, safely, and responsibly in a cooperative community environment. There is zero tolerance for violence or threats of violence.
Step 4. Entry to and Exiting Shelter

> Getting to shelter: If a client does not have transportation, we may be able to assist with transport to the shelter. Once at FCC, families are greeted by a service coordinator who will help with belongings and guide the family through the intake process.

> Intake: Intake ensures that both the family and service coordinator are aligned with the family's needs, goals, opportunities for support, and next steps. Following this conversation, families are oriented to the shelter itself with a walking tour, staff introductions, and other details before ending at their room. 

> During shelter: Clients will meet with their service coordinators two times a week, usually through one “formal” check-in and one phone call.

> Exiting shelter: Clients are encouraged to take any linens and supplies they were provided in the shelter with them when exiting. Whenever possible, we also provide a starter kit with basic cleaning supplies and a selection of household goods, based on family needs and donated items on-hand. We also connect families to resources and support safety planning, goal setting, and budgeting.
Click here to learn more about FCC’s Emergency Shelter Services.
> How long can someone stay in the emergency shelter? Our goal is to establish and make homelessness as brief as possible. Typically stays range from 1 - 90 days.

> What’s the typical length of stay? The average length of stay in FCC's emergency shelter is 36 days.
> How are shelter rooms furnished and what can families expect? Each shelter room has at least one set of bunk beds, at least one dresser, and one closet. All basic needs items are provided, generally including a laundry basket, toiletries, a new sheet set, pillow, towels, and washcloths for each family member, laundry pods, and a welcome folder with a journal and pen. Within the welcome folder, families receive additional information about in-house programs offered by FCC and our community partners like Yoga for adults and children from YogaMouthStudio and art activities with AWAHBaltimore. FCC provides three meals and a snack each day, prepared and served by our dedicated nutrition and kitchen staff.

One more day made all the
difference for Shayna*

Shayna arrived at the shelter with her two-year-old son, struggling mentally and physically after having fled a physically and emotionally violent relationship. A few weeks after arriving, she learned that she was pregnant, and worried about where she would live and how she would raise two children. Working closely with a counselor and her FCC Service Coordinator, Brandi, Shayna’s time during and after shelter included external counseling and mental health care referrals, referral to family planning for prenatal care, connection to healthy babies programs, and referral for her child receive additional services.
Throughout her stay at the shelter, Shayna continued to take meaningful steps toward achieving her goals. She enrolled in school, participated in house meetings and groups, socialized with other clients in the shelter, and made friends for the first time in a long time. Still - feeling frustrated by a difficult and timely search for affordable housing and facing doubts about providing a roof over her daughter and newborn’s heads, Shayna was preparing for a return to her abuser.
After consultation with her Service Coordinator, she agreed to stay one more day. It was that very day she received word that FCC was successful in helping to secure permanent supportive housing. Shortly thereafter, Shayna and her son exited the shelter and moved into their new, safe home.
*Personal details, including name, have been changed to protect the survivor's identity.

The Fincato Group

Generations Giving Back

Sisters Bethanie Fincato and Bumpy Spyridakos can still remember walking with their mother to deliver donations and supplies to FCC when they were little girls growing up in Dundalk. Today, they work together at The Fincato Group (TFG), an all-women real estate company owned by Bethanie, where they continue to support FCC and its clients in honor of both their mother’s legacy and the women in the shelter whom they hope to help find their strength again.
To date, TFG has given well over $5,000 in essential shelter supply items and self-care items. They plan to continue their support and promotion of FCC’s work through community fundraisers and engaging their clients to provide charitable donations.

Click here to learn more about TFG.
Family Matters: Interdependence in Family Relationships
In this informative 30-minute video, Dr. Mariana Martinez interviews Laura Brooks, LCSW-C and faculty member at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family. They discuss the concept of interdependence as a common human trait that cannot be easily categorized as “good” or “bad”. In the human family, interdependence influences how one individual functions in relation to another. A higher level of interdependence may mean that family members are more sensitive to one another, especially when anxiety and reactivity are intense.
Watch to learn more about how an anxious interdependence can play out in the family, causing problems for some members – and what can be done to proactively identify and address triggers, barriers, and whole-family solutions.

Click here to learn more about Bowen family systems theory.
Save the date for FCC’s annual fundraiser. This year’s theme: “Fall for Families.” Your support will allow us to continue providing families impacted by domestic violence with hope for a stronger and brighter future. Tickets will be available starting August 1st.

Contact Allie to learn more about event sponsorships.
We hope you’ll take a moment to complete FCC’s community needs” survey, designed to support our efforts to educate, engage and provide needed services to our neighbors. All information provided is anonymous unless you chose to share identifying information.
Click here to access the survey.

Baltimore County Domestic Violence Hotline