Thank you – Two simple words, one amazing message. These two words convey partnership, gratitude and appreciation. As executive director of New Beginning in Garland, I know how passionate advocates, volunteers and partners are about ending violence in our community. Agencies throughout Texas have a variety of programs designed to aid families who have been affected by domestic violence, as well as extensive preventive programs with objectives meant to end the use of domestic and teen violence.
Many people across the state have worked daily to create and strengthen partnerships to help keep families safe. Because of their efforts, family violence programs have level funding from the state legislature, which is an amazing result during a time when many other funding sources are steadily declining. This outcome would not have been possible if not for the dedication of so many people, many who choose to volunteer their time, talent and resources to make this hoped-for result a reality.
Being a part of the domestic violence field in Texas is a humbling experience. On one side, we are surrounded by a powerful group of people who are willing to use the resources and connections at their disposal for a greater good. On the other side, we interact daily with another group of people who seek safety and support because it has been taken away, a group that is larger than ever.
Across the state, family violence providers are experiencing an unprecedented level of demand for services. The number of calls to hotlines is increasing; the level of demand for emergency shelter is elevated. Yet, those seeking shelter do not have the level of resources available to them as before. Thus they need to use shelter services for longer periods of time than in previous years, a phenomenon that is new to us, but perhaps one that was the reality for victims of family violence during other economic downturns in our country’s history. The difference today is the fact that safe, supportive services exist to keep survivors and their children safe. The difference today is the fact that an army of people have worked for the last three decades to create a better today and tomorrow for survivors of family violence and their children.
I am thankful for all those who have gone before us, who have paved the way for survivors of family violence to have safe places to go; who have walked through history to enact laws that provide safety and protections; to those today who continue to champion the cause, who choose for their life’s work to be focused on an end to domestic violence.
We have much for which to give thanks!
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
New Beginning, Garland TX
TCFV Allocations Committee and Policy Committee Member
TCFV Category I Member