Community Service Presentation Roxanne Kennedy Lifespan Human Development CEPD 8102
Shepherd's Rest Battered Women's Shelter Contact Information: • HOTLINE 770-443-5213Shepherd's Rest Ministries, Inc. http://www.shepherdsrestministries.com/ 24 hours a day, 7 days a firstname.lastname@example.org My contact person: • Ms. Rie Cowan – Educator and Beta Club Sponsor, Hiram HS, and long-time volunteer of Shepherd’s Rest email@example.com
Purpose of Shepherd's Rest Ministries: • Shepherd's Rest is a family violence crisis center which provides a 24-hour crisis line, emergency housing, emergency transportation, legal advocacy, food, clothing, counseling, resource referrals, and financial assistance to victims of domestic violence. • These goals are met through private donations, as they do not receive any government funding. • They meet the basic needs of people who are being abused: food, clothing, shelter, and counseling.
Clients of Shepard's Rest: • Abused and homeless women and children • Shepherd’s Rest Ministries has assisted well over 1000 families since it began in June 1997. • It was established by Dr. Kathryn D. Melton, who received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Cornerstone University. She was the Founder and Executive Director of Dallas Family Counseling Center, Inc. in Dallas, GA, where she provided individual, group and family counseling, specializing in issues of domestic violence, sexual abuse recovery, & anxiety disorder.
Staff Members of Shepherd's Rest: • “Doc” – Dr. Kathryn D. Melton – Founder, counselor, and manager of Shepherd’s Rest Ministries • Judy and Charlotte – Full-time live-in house managers of Shepherd’s Rest safe house. • Volunteers – Many female volunteers help with Shepherd’s Rest Ministries. Few males are allowed to volunteer, the exception being Dr. Melton’s husband, and a few other men that are ‘vouched for’ by female volunteers. This policy is due to the nature of the organization and its need for safety.
Facilities of Shepherd's Rest Ministries: • They currently have a ‘safe’ house that is a small house with two live-in residents who assist the families who come there. There are three other bedrooms with enough beds in each room to house a family temporarily. Up to 19 people can be housed there. It has a couple of bathrooms, a small living/counseling room, a kitchen, and a family/dining room. The yard has a high fence with a patio and a playground area for children, as well as a large storage shed for storing items a displaced family may need, such as car seats, blankets, clothing, etc.
Description of Volunteer Work: • Yard Sale Set-up – This was a fundraiser for Shepherd’s Rest Ministries sponsored by the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Hiram, Georgia. It was my job to price the items for sale. • Set-up for Food Stand at the Trick-or-Treat Village – This was also a fundraiser for Shepherd’s Rest at which they sell food to make a profit for the shelter. I helped set up equipment and food. • Collection of Toys at the Toy Ride – This is a motorcycle ride to donate toys for children who are housed at the shelter over the holidays. I assisted with the collection, loading, and storing.
Relation to Learning: • One of the things I learned throughout my volunteering has to do with who’s in charge. If there is not a specific statement of who’s in charge of something, several people will assume it’s them. This creates a problem at times with decisions and the decision-making process. For example, at the yard sale I asked what prices they wanted put on some items. I got an immediate answer from one woman, but later got a different answer from another woman who seemed to disapprove of the first answer I received. Still later, I got another answer from my friend with the shelter that was similar to the first answer and disapproved of the second answer. Understandably, it became quite confusing to me, as I was just trying to help. If it had been decided ahead who was setting the prices, or who was in charge of it, it would have made it easier and allowed the group to be more cohesive, rather than divided.
Relation to Learning (cont.): • Another thing I learned came to me while reading articles on B.F. Skinner and intermittent rewards, like with gambling. The yard sale was not set to start until Saturday, yet people kept arriving and wanting to start shopping. It wasn’t a problem, except that you got sidetracked from pricing or folding or sorting to negotiate prices with people. The idea that came to me is that some people are addicted to shopping at yard sales! It has to be the intermittent rewards of finding something really good at a yard sale, just as gamblers have the intermittent reward of hitting the ‘jackpot.’ They have found a ‘deal’ somewhere before at a yard sale and are searching for more ‘deals.’ I can see how this could happen.
Relation to Learning (cont.): • From the Toy Ride, I learned that I grew up in a rather ‘comfortable’ household financially. It really made me think about how difficult it must be for these families to leave everything behind just to escape the abuse. To not even be able to provide your child with a toy at Christmas must be a hard thing to accept for some people. How appreciative they must be for the generosity of others….
Relation to Learning (cont.) • A couple of my hours of volunteer time were devoted to Relay for Life (The Race for a Cure to Cancer): • My husband and I have been involved in Relay for Life for a number of years due to so many members of our families having survived cancer or died from it. It is a cause very close to our hearts. As I’ve gotten older, it’s meant more and more to me. As noted in our studies, I now understand my mortality better than when I was younger and can comprehend that cancer is a real threat for my extended family and to my time with them. I don’t think I fully understood its devastation before.
Success Stories: • Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to hear any success stories through my time volunteering, due to how busy we were working! However, Shepherd’s Rest Ministries website lists this link for people to read survivor stories: • Link to Survivor Stories
Problems Faced by Staff Members: • Abusive, angry spouses – At times, husbands of abused families have shown up at the shelter and have continued to threaten their safety. Even though the location of the safe house is not publicized, some do find out where it is located. One husband used the GPS locator on his wife’s car to locate her at the shelter. • Scared, anxious families – Many women are extremely scared about their ability to provide for their children once they have left their abusive spouse. The shelter counselors and volunteers sometimes have to help them with their job skills, teach them how to get a job and keep it, and how to spend money wisely to provide for their family.
Potential Solutions or Improvements: • Unlimited funding changes: Larger, more secure facilities, better funding for supplies, more classes for women trying educate themselves. All of these are needed because Shepherd's Rest is working without government funding, on only private donations. • Without funding changes: I would not change anything they are currently doing because they are truly doing the best they can with the funding and facilities available to them.
References: • Shepherd’s Rest Ministries 770-443-5213 http://www.shepherdsrestministries.com/ • National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE http://www.ndvh.org/ • Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence1-800-33-HAVEN http://www.gcadv.org/ • AARDVARC: An Abuse, Rape and Domestic Violence Aid and Resource Collection http://www.aardvarc.org/dv/states/gadv.shtml • WomensLaw.orghttp://www.womenslaw.org/gethelp_state.php?state_code=GA