Give it Forward: Bethany House Northern Virginia
We’re back on board after a crazy holiday season to finish up our Feed 10,00 Families Give it Forward (GIF) Initiative with Turner Broadcasting Insider’s Advantage and Boston Market.
Before Christmas, we were able to deliver gift cards to three Atlanta-based transitional housing programs (read about those here, here, and here) so that families could enjoy a hot, healthy meal out with their families.
Today, we have the honor of sending Give it Forward cards to Bethany House in Alexandria, Virginia. Bethany House is a domestic violence shelter that has been around since 1979. It provides women who are leaving an abusive situation with information, advice, counseling, references to other programs, etc. The Bethany House operates two safe houses with a total of 25 beds.
Jasmin Witcher, Director of Development, said that their beds are often already filled when a lady calls the emergency line, but Bethany House works diligently to find each and every woman a bed with another program if their beds are full. The need for these shelters is huge in Fairfax county because of the large population.
Bethany House is a little bit from other programs in that it lasts 4 months compared to the 30 or 40 day average of other shelters. The ladies are given expansive and in-depth services during their stay. At the beginning of the program, every woman who enters the shelter has to set goals in the following areas: childcare, transportation, education, and housing. A case worker is then assigned to each women to track her progress and help her along her journey.
The ladies receive safe shelter, counseling, life skills classes such as budgeting, healthcare and nutrition, and parenting. They are also provided with a volunteer job coach who helps with resumes and job searches and teaches the women how to present themselves in an interview and build a career.
Lastly, Bethany House provides the women with resources after their 4 month stay as they enter the recovery phase. They still have access to the resources at Bethany House and can shop in the community pantry for things such as diapers and toiletries.
So where are the Give it Forward Cards going?
Are cards are going to be used both for the ladies in the shelter currently and the families that are in recovery phase. Bethany House offers a financial literacy course in which the women can take classes, pass, and receive a certificate! Since the class is during dinner hours, our Give it Forward cards will be used for those graduating women to use at the end of the class!
Upcoming Events at Bethany House
If you are interested in learning more about Bethany House, check out their Facebook page. They are having an upcoming event called Garden of Light to raise awareness about domestic violence in the community. This event is at the Holiday Inn and Suites in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, Saturday, May 3rd.