05/08/14 One of the founders of the Heminger House Shelter for Women and Children, Laura Mann is making a plea for financial assistance to citizens of Marshall County. The following is a letter submitted by Mann to everyone in the county.
In 1999, Dean Byers and I shared a dream. Our dream consisted of a safe place, in Marshall County, where women and their children could escape the nightmare of Domestic Violence. At the time, there was not a shelter in our county and women would have to travel at least 30 miles to a safe haven. Often as the Director of the Marshall County Victim Assistance Program, I would have women that would go back to their abusers because those 30 miles seemed like 3000 miles. It wasn’t a simple 30 minute drive but it was 30 minutes away from their family and support network, 30 minutes away from their child’s school, 30 minutes away from their job. This was simply not acceptable to Dean and I. We started on a journey together to solve this issue and offer a safe haven to the women and children of our Community. OUR neighbors…OUR daughters…OUR sisters…OUR coworkers. Because Domestic Violence affects 1 in 3 women at some point in their lives, we all know someone who has been or is in an abusive relationship.
Neither Dean nor myself could have envisioned the roller coaster ride that we were about to embark on when we started this journey. We slashed through red-tape, broke down stereotypes of who a victim was, raised money, and gained a community’s support for an amazing project. The Heminger House Women and Children’s Shelter is not the responsibility of just two peoples’ vision, it is the culmination of an entire community’s involvement. So many people have donated to The Heminger House, in so many ways. Every donation is so important, no matter if it is a cash donation, some groceries, gifts at holidays, household items that the women need when they leave, or your prayers. Each and every one of you is responsible for our success.
The Heminger House is completely funded by grants and donations. Consistently since our opening in 2008, our grant amounts have been cut due to lack of funding at the State and Federal level. We have been forced to make a monetary plea for your help. To maintain safety and accessibility to our clients, The Heminger House is staffed 24 hours a day, we are never closed. And as you can imagine, paying staff, keeping the lights on, keeping it warm in the winter and cool in the summer, feeding up to 20 people three times a day isn’t cheap. Our average census is 11 people per day….sometimes it is more, sometimes it is less. Since we opened, we have never been empty.
We want to continue to serve the women and children of Marshall County. But we need your help. Please send donations to:
The Heminger House
P O Box 4
Plymouth, IN 46563
All donations are tax deductible.
Thank you so much for your continued caring and support!
Laura Mann, Heminger House Board member