Spring 2018 Newsletter

Newhouse Advocates Help Save Lives

50 hotline calls from individuals whose lives are at risk. That's what an 8 hour shift for an Advocate at Newhouse can look like. For the callers on the other end of the line, Newhouse's Advocates Kaitlin, Raeonna (Rae) and Austen offer a bridge to a better life. 
Newhouse provides a 24-hour hotline and domestic violence shelter 365 days a year. Hired staff and volunteers, called Advocates, are trained to aid individuals and families who need shelter. When these survivors arrive at Newhouse, Advocates provide comfort and care to traumatized people who often leave home with no personal belongings.

Kaitlin and Rae are Lead Advocates, full-time staff, who recently shared their experiences in that role. Austen is a part-time advocate who is planning to attend graduate school.

Rae says that the Newhouse staff is very tightly knit because they work so closely to serve those in need. She feels that the residents become part of that family as well, and says it's bittersweet when a family leaves, because they are missed. Though some residents leave to return to their abusers, all survivors are encouraged to stay and work Newhouse's programs to reach success and go on to living a life free of violence and achieve self-sufficiency.

Austen is newer to the staff, but was recently impacted by a resident's survival story. When a survivor shared her success story with our Board at a meeting, she made sure to say that she was so grateful for Newhouse's compassionate and understanding staff. Then she referred to Austen by name, which touched him profoundly. He seeks to serve all residents with that level of impact.

The work is intense, and having co-workers that Advocates can depend on is very important to the functioning of the team. Phone calls can be a matter of life or death. Advocates must be ready to handle almost anything.

Kaitlin mentioned a distress call from a woman who claimed to have been locked in a closet for weeks. She didn't know where she was, and could not recall her name because her abuser never called her by name. She had broken out of the closet and used his phone while he was gone. She had no friends, and couldn't call the police because he had friends in local law enforcement who would alert him to her call. Kaitlin told the woman to remember the word "Newhouse." If she could get away, tell someone that she needed to get to Newhouse.

This caller never arrived at the shelter. But for those individuals and families who do come to Newhouse to recover from trauma and abuse, our Advocates are helping every hour, 365 days a year.

If you are interested in being a volunteer advocate or seek to serve at Newhouse in another capacity, contact Cicelynn Elix at communityeng@newhouseshelter.org or 816-462-0503.

Time for a Conversation about Domestic Violence
Recently, Jenee Osterheldt, wrote an article for the Kansas City Star, 2018 Dawns with an epidemic of domestic violence, and we are still blaming the victims.

When domestic violence escalates to murder, we ask the wrong questions.
"Why didn't she leave?" we ask.
"How come no one said anything?" we accuse. 
"If only she had loved herself or been stronger," we judge.
Over the span of nine days this month (January 2018), three women were found dead - murdered by their husbands or partners, prosecutors say. Read more.

In response to that article, The Central Exchange recently hosted a discussion "When Violence Hits Home. Shedding Light on Domestic Violence in Kansas City" Panelists included leaders from the 6 area DV shelters: Newhouse, Hope House, Friends of Yates,  SAFEHOME, Rose Brooks, and Synergy Services to discuss the impact DV has on the KC community- women, men, and children are victims of abuse every day, hour, and minute.

Although Kansas City has 422 shelter beds, all are filled each night. Kansas City is unique in that these shelters communicate several times a day to update bed availability. KCPD has adopted a lethality policy that allows them to assess the threat of death in a DV situation and remove the victim from the home. All shelters have agreed to take in these survivors regardless of bed space, to save their life and the children who accompany them.

Newhouse Helped Survivors in 2017
  • 16,203 Women, men and children received support services
  • 15,079 HOLTINE calls were answered
  • 496 Stayed in shelter, safe from violence: 288 adults, 208 children
  • 80% from Kansas City Urban Core
  • 58% have high school diploma or GED
Families leave Newhouse with hope, as well as practical skills, jobs and housing. All services are provided free, and we rely on the generosity of the community. Join us in helping the most vulnerable families begin again. 
Make a donation to Newhouse
Donat e

NOW AVAILABLE, Text-to-donate! text @newhouse to 52014
Seats & Feets Drive
Newhouse provides for all needs of adults and children. Underwear and socks must be NEW! All sizes, boys & girls, women & men. Organize a collection or purchase online from our wish list. Arrange for donation delivery, contact   communityeng@newhouseshelter.org
Upcoming Events:
SPRING SIP & SHOP, Saturday, April 21, 2-5pm
If you enjoy wine, food, & shopping, you won't want to miss our SPRING SIP & SHOP event. Enjoy sips and apps at our restaurants from 2-5pm while strolling the streets and exploring the shops. Make a donation to Newhouse and receive a $10 Park Place gift card.  More info.

TASTE OF SHAWNEE, Saturday, May 12, 3-6pm
Enjoy the many flavors of Shawnee while supporting area charities. Sponsored by the Rotary of Shawnee.

newhouseshelter.org  | HOTLINE: 816-471-5800 |  8 16-474-6446  
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