A Word from Mark
Dear Friends of WTLC,
To paraphrase Winston Churchill, we are nearing the end of the beginning. After an uneasy 15 weeks of the safe-at-home order, our community is getting ready to experience the light of a new day.

At WTLC, we’re ready for what’s next. Our leadership team and Board of Directors have been working diligently in the past several weeks, mapping out details related to our workforce, programs and services, and business operations. Their good work paved the way to a new chapter for WTLC in the COVID-19 environment. Although all virtual programs and mobile advocacy will continue indefinitely, we are preparing to increase our in-person program capacity to pre-COVID-19 levels. In June, we initiated our plans for reengaging our program operations, beginning the careful transition from our current hybrid remote/in-person work.

Not all staff will return to on-site work at the same time. On-site operations will resume at a gradual pace, with some program areas ready for 100% in-person operations before others. The phase-in decisions are being made with an abundance of thought and planning, with the health and safety of our staff and survivors at the forefront. Of course, this transition plan will be flexible with a willingness to retreat to prior phases if necessary. Whether our programs and services are remote or in-person, we will continue to provide a high-quality service experience for our survivors and community.

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

With all best wishes to all of you and your loved-ones, friends and neighbors. Stay safe. Be well. 

With Appreciation,

Mark
Mobile Advocacy –Meeting You Where You Are 
Jaime had been reserved during the initial conversations with WTLC, and our Advocate, Aly, asked if the Center itself could possibly be preventing them from sharing with her. When Jaime said yes, Aly offered the option of having WTLC services hosted at a different location. Aly saw that Jaime’s reaction was one of surprise and that they had never considered receiving counseling outside of a ‘clinical’ setting. Aly explained that it was important for them to feel comfortable during sessions and that she understood they had already been through a lot. Jaime said that the only place where they truly felt safe was their home, so Aly scheduled their next session there. Immediately Aly saw a change, Jaime was more relaxed and carried on longer conversations. In previous sessions, Jaime had mentioned feeling uncomfortable and when Aly asked what thoughts or objects helped them feel grounded and safe they could not think of any.

While Aly sat in Jaime’s living room and noticed all of the sounds and scents coming from the kitchen, they immediately began to tell Aly how cooking helps them unwind and relax. Aly and Jaime spoke a bit about cooking, their favorite foods, restaurants they enjoy, and Jaime began to tell Aly about a dish that was on the stove in the kitchen at that moment. It was a family recipe they learned from their father who learned it in the village their family was from. It was a fascinating story and Aly felt grateful that Jaime was able to share this with her. When the session concluded, Aly drove back to the Center, and realized that the experience Aly had with Jaime would have never occurred if Aly had not been there with Jaime in the place they felt most comfortable. Aly learned a lot about Jaime, and their family, and the village they came from, and even some of their cultural traditions. Jaime even taught Aly how to welcome a guest in their native language. As sessions continued, Aly was able to reference that knowledge and assist Jaime in their recovery. Aly also started off each session by greeting each other in the way Jaime taught her. Jaime was able to open up to Aly a lot easier knowing that she understood more about their values and the importance of their safety.
Reaching Underserved Populations: An Ongoing Process of Listening, Learning, and Improving
Chances are, if we were to ask you to imagine a “survivor of domestic violence,” a very specific image would pop into your head. She’s probably a woman, probably young to middle aged, probably in a relationship with a man, and probably being physically abused.

And you’d be justified in that mental picture. It is absolutely the widely accepted narrative of what domestic violence looks like. It’s what we see on television, what we hear in the news, and even what we see in the marketing created by many DV agencies nationwide.

The problem isn’t that this depiction is inaccurate—there are many survivors for whom that image is completely true to life—the problem is that it’s somewhat limited. For every survivor whose experience does match the description above, there’s another whose experience does not. If we build our response to violence based on assumptions about what DV looks like and who it affects, then we’re leaving out whole groups of people whose experiences don’t neatly mirror that expectation.
Thank You to Our Recurring Donors!
Thank you to our recurring donors, who have committed to making regular donations to support WTLC’s general operations each month. Regular, ongoing donations like these have always been appreciated by our organization, but knowing we can count on these donations each month is more important than ever before in our current climate of uncertainty. Whether a person is giving $10, $100, or $1,000, these recurring donations allow us to go into each new month prepared.

Truly, we cannot thank our recurring donors enough—thank you for your commitment to standing beside our community’s survivors each month. We could not do this work without you.
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