SAAFE House receives $20,000 grant

Joseph Brown/ The ItemStaff members from SAAFE House of Walker County celebrated the acceptance of a $20,000 grant from the Mary Kay Foundation. The funds will help the organization restore and revive their shelter for domestic violence victims. 

SAAFE House is one step closer to a renovated domestic violence shelter in Huntsville. 

In support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Mary Kay Foundation announced that they have awarded SAAFE House with a $20,000 unrestricted grant to support local survivors of domestic violence in Walker, Polk, Trinity and San Jacinto counties.

“We are one of the lucky few recipients to get this grant that will allow us to revive and restore our shelters,” said Chasity Williams, community relations director at SAAFE House. “This money will help bring those shelters back to life, and help create a very safe and warm, home-like environment for our clients.”

The Sexual Assault and Abuse Free Environment House began providing services in the Piney Woods area in 1984. Since then, SAAFE House has expanded its services to four counties, hosting two non-disclosed crisis shelters, which serve 1,200 clients yearly. The organization is committed to empowering victims of family violence and sexual assault by providing individualized immediate, free and confidential services with a goal at preventing family violence and sexual assault by educating the community.

“We are overwhelmed by the support of Mary Kay,” said Dr. Shannon Lane, executive director at SAAFE House. “We look forward to a continued partnership for years to come.”

The grant was awarded to 150 different domestic violence shelters across the country, totaling $3 million. The Mary Kay Foundation was established in 1996 with the overarching purpose of supporting issues impacting women. In 2000, the foundation expanded to include ending domestic violence as part of its mission. The foundation is committed to funding the life-saving work of women’s shelters and the annual shelter grant program, which has helped finance critical needs including emergency shelter, transitional housing, counseling and legal aid. More than 1,200 organizations applied for the shelter grants.

“At Mary Kay, we believe in helping women improve their circumstances and live their best lives,” said Michael Lunceford, president of the Mary Kay Foundation Board of Directors. “One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime and it’s our responsibility to support the women’s shelters that aid these survivors.

“At the heart of the foundation’s work is the shelter grant program, which is actively supported by our independent sales force. We’re proud that our commitment makes such a powerful impact in local communities and in the lives of domestic violence survivors across the country.”

According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, more than 72,000 adult and child victims receive domestic violence services across the United States each day. Unfortunately, in the same period of time, more than 11,000 requests for services are unmet due to a lack of resources.