An update from 180’s Executive Director

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and Staff of 180 Turning Lives Around, I would like to take a moment to update you on some of the exciting projects that are a direct result of the generosity we receive from our community:

Our new Safe House has welcomed over 250 women, men and children since we placed our first families in February 2016.  The fact that we were at capacity just a day after opening our doors and have continued seeing a steady stream of survivors cross our threshold, underscores the magnitude of the need for this service here in Monmouth County.  Thousands of domestic violence incidents are reported in our communities each year and it is well documented that victims are at the peak of danger when fleeing.  Our shelter not only provides the basic necessities for families but provides supportive services onsite so that families can begin the healing process.  This type of intervention is highly beneficial, and sets victims on the path to long term independence.

Another model program that has been underway in 2017 is our Keeping Families Together Project.  180 has been providing supportive services to a pilot group of families who are homeless.  This program has shown to be a key factor to decrease child welfare involvement while keeping families together in permanent housing.  180 provides comprehensive, evidence-based, trauma-informed, therapeutic and concrete supports to these families. This program enhances a survivor’s self-sufficiency, assists victims to regain control of their lives and helps families heal from the trauma of violence.

180 is proud to have received the first Impact 100 Jersey Coast Grant of $145,000 to create a Family Justice Center in Monmouth County. Based on a nationally proven model, 180’s Family Justice Center will address the root of the hardships many domestic violence victims face when trying to break from their abuser’s coercive control. The FJC will be a one-stop shop where multiple services and service providers work collaboratively to meet the needs of survivors and their families. No longer will survivors  have to relive the trauma through multiple recounting of their abuse; complete a multitude of paperwork; find the time and means to travel to multiple locations; and wait (sometimes over the course of days or weeks) to keep the process moving.  With this project we will coordinate a team of professionals who will provide the following under one roof: legal services, counseling, case management, advocacy, art therapy, coordination with civil court, and more.   This method has proven to reduce homicides, increase prosecutions, reduce recantations, and improve overall outcomes for victims and their children.

Because of the support from our community, our 180 families are on a new path for healing, and indeed, turning their lives around. We are grateful that so many members of our community have contributed and supported our life-saving and life-changing services and programs for families experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and all staff at 180, we wish you and your family a safe and restful summer.

Thank you again for your belief in our mission!

Anna Diaz-White, 180 Executive Director