Our House, Inc.

V oices A gainst I nterpersonal V iolence
S peak out* T each* E ducate* P rotect* S erve
Issue 24 - July 2020 Newsletter: Part 2
Message from our Executive Director
Yes, we are open!!!!! 

Because the stay-at-home order which started in March 2020 is continuing to affect our communities, our agency has made the following in-house adjustments:

  • Created care packages for clients that includes child/adult size masks, gloves, disinfecting wipes, bleach, paper towels and toilet tissue.  
  • Purchased underwear garments and sun dresses for survivors in the hospital.
  • Purchased Zoom “Pro” which allows for unlimited time usage and at least 100 participants per virtual event.  Group check-ins for staff are conducted at least twice a week at 10:00 a.m. using Zoom. (Feel free to join us one morning).
  • Provided awareness of our services and hosted trainings, community meetings, youth summits and webinars via zoom
  • Participated in community inter-agency meetings i.e., MAP (Multidisciplinary Assessment and Planning), SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) etc… via Zoom.
  • In dire emergency cases, provided face-to-face services with clients, making sure that we follow the safety practices outlined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) such as wearing masks, washing hands, sanitizing the building and taking temperatures.
  • Offered individual counseling sessions by our therapist via telehealth.
  • We are continuing t0 host online group chats, and group conference calls with survivors, at least once per month.
  • Enhanced our Fluent Cloud online telephone system to include texting directly to our office line. 
  • Each staff has a free “Google Voice” line on their personal cell phone. This allows them to utilize their personal phone to make business calls via the google app.  The staff can also opt to allow our answering service to connect incoming calls to their personal telephone without divulging their personal ID.

These adjustments will remain in effect throughout the pandemic.

Unfortunately, several of our volunteers and staff are at high-risk for contracting COVID-19; therefore, they are encouraged to work from home as much as possible. In these very difficult times, we will continue to make adjustments and utilize best practices for all staff, volunteers and clients.

We're excited that we received a Payroll Protection Loan to cover the cost of retaining and hiring additional staff to help us continue to provide direct and prevention services.

We have a major funding need for our shelter program. We need to purchase two central air/heating units (an estimated cost of $10,500). It is safer to utilize the central air unit instead of window units because an offender can take the window unit out and gain easy access into the facility. Safety for our clients is always first!!

Dr. Patricia Ann Davenport
Executive Director

Our Current Services

ABEL Program
This program is for Survivors of Homicide Loss who need advocacy support, financial assistant and/or help with understanding the criminal justice procedures. Trained staff assist families with completing a Victim Compensation Application to apply for reimbursement for lost wages, mental health and medical treatment, funeral expenses and other expenses incurred. We help them understand the legal procedures in seeking justice for the violent crime and will provide court support/accompaniment: Contact Person Ms. Doris Lee

AADPP - A frican A merican D omestic P eace P roject
The mission of the AADPP team is to provide a culturally specific, faith based multidisciplinary response to healing and prevention of domestic and sexual violence. Contact Person: Dr. Patricia Ann Davenport

Behavioral Modification Training Institute:
This program was established to provide domestic violence and sexual assault training for laypersons, social workers, law enforcement personnel & clergy. Contact Person: Mrs. Felecia Thomas

Healthy Relationship Curriculum
Our Healthy Relationship curriculum is a federally approved evidence based 14-week curriculum implemented at local middle and high schools. Specially trained instructors are prepared to help students understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships. Topics such as “Focus on Sexual Abuse ,” “Understanding Boundaries” and “ 21 Warning Signs of an Abusive Person” are addressed. Upon completion of the 14 weeks, the students are empowered and impacted in such a way that they despise the thought of the class ending. Contact Person: Mrs. Felecia Thomas

L.E.A.H. - L etting E ach A ffliction H eal
This program offers outreach services primarily to adult victims of domestic violence. Services include, but are not limited to: counseling at NO COST, referrals to safe shelters, advocacy services for legal representation, and referrals to local social services programs. Contact Ms. Doris Lee

Let’s Talk About It (LTAI)
Our Let’s Talk About It support group sessions offer opportunities for young victims/survivors of sexual violence to deal with their trauma through peer discussions and holistic approaches. Contact Person: Mrs. Dilworth Ricks

M.A.S.H. - M en A gainst S pousal H arm
M.A.S.H. is for court ordered domestic violence abusers. It is a 26 or 52-week behavioral modification program that is based on the nationally known Duluth, MN Domestic Violence Prevention Project model. The goal of M.A.S.H. is to hold abusers accountable for their abusive behaviors and to empower them to change. Contact Person: Dr. Patricia Ann Davenport

New Beginning Shelter ( House of Hope)
At our New Beginning Shelter, we provide 24 hours safe shelter, support groups, legal advocacy and make referrals for victims of domestic violence & their children. We support them in making healthy plans for their lives without abuse. Currently, our shelter is under repairs. We are making referrals to other shelters until our repairs are completed. Contact Person: Dr. Patricia Ann Davenport

R.E.S.T.O.R.E.- R enewing E ach S urvivor T hrough O ptions R espect and E mpowerment.
If you have experienced a sexual assault, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! R.E.S.T.O.R.E. was designed to provide emergency room assistance; 24 Hour crisis intervention; assistance with crime victim compensation, court advocacy & counseling services. Contact Person: Mrs. Dilworth Ricks

Sisters of Faith - Conference Call Support Group
Our Sisters of Faith support group addresses the needs of adult children of sexual and domestic violence, offering non-judgement peer to peer support . Contact Person: Dr. Patricia Ann Davenport

S.O.A.R. - S trength O pportunities A wareness R esults
This is a special branch of the Y.E.S. program that is based at our partner's apartment complex. Contact Person: Ms. Doris Lee

SOS - S afe O nline S pace for Healing Conversations
SOS is an anonymous and secure online chatroom for local sexual assault victims/survivors to connect with one another and get help. Sessions are held on the third Monday of each month. Registration Information. Contact Persons: Mrs. Dilworth Ricks or Mrs. Felecia Thomas

Y.E.S. - Y outh E nrichment S ervices
Y.E.S. is a recovery program for youths who have been directly impacted by the death of a loved one due to a violent crime; children who have experienced or witnessed domestic violence in the home; and relatives of victims of sexual violence. It is designed to provide encouragement, support and guidance to youth instructing them as they develop in the areas of self-esteem, educational goals, leadership skills and dating violence prevention. Contact Person: Ms. Doris Lee

W.A.V.E. - W orking A gainst V iolence E verywhere
W.A.V.E. is Our House’s youth public awareness group. Members provide prevention services to youth and young adults ages of 13-24, targeting those who have been exposed to interpersonal violence. Contact Person: Mrs. Felecia Thomas

Key staff/consultant's titles and number of years as an advocate to end interpersonal violence in our community .
  • Executive Director: Dr. Patricia Ann Davenport (35 years)
  • Victim Service Specialist: Ms. Doris Lee (38 years)
  • Healthy Relationship Director: Mrs. Felecia Thomas (26 years)
  • Victim Service Advocate: Mrs. Dilworth Ricks (22 years)
  • Financial Officer: Ms. Yvette R. Garner (27 years)
  • Victim Service Advocate: Mrs. Vinceysha Bunton (1 year)
  • Student Intern: Ms. Jaqueline Houston (1 year)
  • Volunteer: Mrs. Ruby Johnson (2 years)
  • Consultants/Presenters:
  • Joe McCall (30 years)
  • Bishop/Dr. Roderick Mitchell (26 years)
  • Pastor/Dr. Thomas Paul Williams (25 years)
  • Ola Alexander (35 years)
  • Dr. Frances Brisbane (12 years)
  • Alfred "Coach" Powell (8 years)

Primary service counties in Mississippi:
  • Bolivar
  • Leflore
  • Holmes
  • Humphreys
  • Sunflower
  • Washington

Contact Information:
  • 662-334-6873 (office line)
  • 662-332-5683 (24/7 helpline)
  • 1-833-279-LOVE (5683) 24/7 helpline
Upcoming Events
Miletus Covenant Connection
Scripture:  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

Dates and times of the different sessions:
  • Monday, July 20, 2020. Noon
  • Monday, July 20, 2020. 7:00 pm
  • Tuesday, July 21, 2020. Noon
  • Tuesday, July 21, 2020. 7:00 pm
  • Wednesday, July 22, 2020 Noon

Guest Youth Leader: Alfred "Coach" Powell
New Life Church's Youth Leader: Minister Joe McCall

This faith-based event is co-sponsored by Our House, Inc.

The next monthly " S afe O nline S pace (S.O.S.) for Healing Conversations" local online chatroom session for sexual assault victims/survivors will be held on Monday, July 20, 2020 from 5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m .

Topic for discussion:   Communicating the Hurt: It's Okay to Not Be Okay

Victims/Survivors log-on at  http://www.ourhousevoices.com 

Feel free to contact Dilworth Ricks, at 662-336-1195, if you have questions.

Blessed regards,

Dilworth Ricks, Advocate
Culturally Specific Sexual Assault Program
Our House, Inc.
New Birth To Violence Free Living

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Meet Our Opening Plenary Speaker:
Oliver Williams, PhD, MPH, MSW
From Rage to Reconciliation

Dr. Oliver Williams
" Within the last few months (and actually years) this country has been struggling with the challenge of injustice and protest. For many of us, our hearts were broken when we witnessed the inhumanity and murders before our very eyes. In the United States (and lately, around the world) people witnessed the violence that is not new; hurt and trauma has been the result."

At the Plenary, Dr. Williams will analyze different stakeholders - the different camps both for and against the victims that have emerged in the Black Lives Matter debate - including the group in support of the victims that are disturbed by the repeated occurrence of these incidents; group that want police accountability; others that want to re-imagine law enforcement and policing along with groups that want to defend the police, and those who want to ignore, justify, minimize, rationalize, dehumanize, resent and defame the peaceful protests as well as the looters. In his keynote presentation, Dr. Williams will discuss how to make sense of these various leanings and will try to explore these differing points of view as well as touch upon the topic of Intimate Partner Violence.  

Dr. Williams, is a Professor in the of School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota, in St. Paul. He is the Director of the African American Domestic Peace Project that works with community leaders in 10 cities across the US to address domestic violence (DV). From June 1994 to September 2016 he was the Executive Director of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community. He has also served as the Director of the Safe Return Initiative, that addresses the issues of prisoner re-entry and domestic violence, from 2003-2016. He has worked in the field of DV for more than 35 years. Dr. Williams is a clinical practitioner; working in mental health, family therapy, substance abuse, child welfare, delinquency and sexual assault programs. He has worked in battered women's shelters, developed curricula for batterers' intervention programs and facilitated counseling groups in these programs. He has provided training across the US and abroad on research and service-delivery surrounding partner abuse.

This section is dedicated to Black History in the United States
I can't breathe!
(Below videos reflecting on racism in America.
Racism is ongoing in our nation, it is important that we educate others.)
COVID-19 is serious!
Please wear a mask,
wash your hands
and stay 6 feet away from others.
Questions for School Openings:

  • If a teacher tests positive for COVID-19 are they required to quarantine for 2-3 weeks? Is their sick leave covered, paid?

  • If that teacher has 5 classes a day with 30 students each, do all 150 of those students need to then stay home and quarantine for 14 days?

  • Do all 150 of those students now have to get tested? Who pays for those tests? Are they happening at school? How are the parents being notified? Does everyone in each of those kids' families need to get tested? Who pays for that?

  • What if someone who lives in the same house as a teacher tests positive? Does that teacher now need to take 14 days off of work to quarantine? Is that time off covered? Paid?

  • Where is the district going to find a substitute teacher who will work in a classroom full of exposed, possibly infected students for substitute pay?

  • Substitutes teach in multiple schools. What if they are diagnosed with COVID-19? Do all the kids in each school now have to quarantine and get tested? Who is going to pay for that?

  • What if a student in your kid's class tests positive? What if your kid tests positive? Does every other student and teacher they have been around quarantine? Do we all get notified who is infected and when? Or because of HIPAA regulations are parents and teachers just going to get mysterious “may have been in contact” emails all year long?

  • What is this stress going to do to our teachers? How does it affect their health and well-being? How does it affect their ability to teach? How does it affect the quality of education they are able to provide? What is it going to do to our kids? What are the long-term effects of consistently being stressed out?

  • How will it affect students and faculty when the first teacher in their school dies from this? The first parent of a student who brought it home? The first kid?

  • How many more people are going to die, that otherwise would not have if we had stayed home longer?

30% of the teachers in the US are over 50. About 16% of the total deaths in the US are people between the ages of 45-65.

Are we putting our teachers in danger?

Just a few questions for discussion.......

Resource Links

Domestic Violence
National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
Nationwide Voices from Victim Service Advocates addressing the current status of racial upraising for change
North Mississippi Rural Legal Services
Our House, Inc.
RAINN-Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
Resource Sharing Project (Sexual Assault Resources) for Rural Communities
UjIma, The National Center Violence Against Women in the Black Community
Will2Change (Click below to learn more)
Woman of Color Network
SPECIAL NOTE : We do not endorse the purchasing of any items. We are ONLY sharing information that may be useful to survivors and advocates.

MISSISSIPPI HB 1386 has passed
Advocate Confidentiality Law; establish procedures for disclosure.

An Act To Create The Advocate Confidentiality Law; To Provide That Communications Of Victims Of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Stalking And Human Trafficking With Advocates Are Confidential; To Establish Procedures For Disclosure In Limited Circumstances; To Provide For In-camera Review Before Disclosure; To Amend Section 93-21-109, Mississippi Code Of 1972, To Conform; And For Related Purposes.

Sponsors (3):

Approved by Governor  (on 6/29/2020)

Detail Document: Click here
Our House, Inc.
New Birth to Violence Free Living

Mailing Address:
Post Office Box 3956
Greenville, MS 38704

Email Address: ourhouse@ourhousenewbirth.com

Website: ourhousevoices.com

Office line: 662-334-6873
Crisis Helpline: 662-332-5683
Toll Free Helpline: 1-833-279-5683
Our Vision Statement
A world without interpersonal violence.

Our Mission Statement
To lead, empower and inspire change by eliminating domestic violence and sexual violence through intervention, prevention, prosecution, victim protection and sustainable restoration in rural communities; and, to enhance the lives of survivors of interpersonal violence by providing services that meet the psychological, spiritual and cultural needs of those we serve.

We are proud to acknowledge that Our House, Inc. is the only fully culturally specific agency in the state of Mississippi that addresses domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault and dating violence within the African American community.