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Heidi: An Advocates Perspective

After receiving the police call that brought Stephanie and her children to the Alexandra House shelter, her advocate Heidi, knew that she would need to ease them into these new, unfamiliar surroundings. Heidi understood Stephanie’s reservations and guarded behavior. She had seen so many survivors walk through the door who weren’t ready to stay, but she could sense that Stephanie was serious, and the more she built trust with the advocates and softened to the shelter setting and resources, Stephanie realized she had everything she needed to move towards a safe life for her and her children.

Heidi knew it was hard for Stephanie to accept help, and she was used to trying things without help or support. But as she continued to walk alongside Stephanie, Heidi watched her start to use her voice, not only to advocate for herself but also other survivors in the shelter. Stephanie now saw all these other survivors in shelter with their own story, but a shared experience. Her strength grew not only in resources but in a community of people who knew her suffering. Heidi knew that Stephanie and her children had found the place they needed to be to heal and move forward.

Heidi watched Stephanie become stronger and braver each day as she advocated for herself and her children. With some help, Stephanie got herself into a transitional housing program, completed her court proceedings, and filed an order for protection. Heidi knows firsthand that when women and children are staying at Alexandra House’s shelter, it is their safe home. She makes sure that they feel comfortable and that it can be a true refuge. Alexandra House advocates are doing heart work every day and choose to be the source of resources and support for all people served in our community escaping violence.

Heidi walked alongside Stephanie and is proud of how far she’s come. It is a powerful thing for people to watch each other grow through hard places. Heidi watched Stephanie as she began to prioritize the care of family and herself in a new way. Their mental health, their physical health, and their well-being was tended to so they could have true healing that would allow them to move towards this new life. Stephanie and her children had found a safe haven and had been freed from their life of fear and violence. Now, Heidi can see a new peace and comfort all around Stephanie and her children, and is once again reminded of why Alexandra House and this work is so important.

Our Emergency Shelter and Supportive Services Program is essential to helping empower the victims/survivors in our community. Our advocates endure challenging heart work to tend to everyone in need of our services. They walk alongside some of the hardest moments in someone’s life and allow them to reclaim their life in a new way by developing safety plans, case management, housing and financial assistance, emotional support, and every other unique need to help in their journey towards a life free from violence.

The impact of what we do at Alexandra House ripples beyond those directly affected by domestic and sexual violence. Just as when there is violence in a community, it harms everyone living in it. Survivors reported that if a domestic violence shelter didn’t exist, the consequences for them would be dire, including homelessness, loss of their children, actions taken in desperation, continuing to experience abuse…or death.

We’re so inspired by the work of dedicated, passionate advocates like Heidi, who are the lifeline for those we serve, and know that our programs rely on those passionate individuals working on the front lines of supporting our most vulnerable community members.

Thank you for being a part of our community on behalf of us at Alexandra House. We wish you and your family health, safety, and happiness and want you to know that we can overcome everything together.

  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men aged 18 and older in the US have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • Intimate partner violence alone affects more than 12 million people every year.
  • Among families, domestic violence is the 3rd leading cause of homelessness.