Ministry For Battered Women


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For several years our church has assisted a local home for battered women.

In fact, some of our church members have served on the Board of Directors and we have provided some fairly major support to the women and their children.

We are not the only church involved. All of the churches work together beautifully to divide the labor and share the resources.

One of the other churches recently made a very generous donation of both time and money to the ladies and their kids.

That church also did some major renovations inside and outside the shelter. They added a play room and a library and gardens

and new kitchen equipment among other things.

Knowing this church group having worked with them before - I knew they would not demand any recognition for their efforts but I felt strongly that

they should receive some thanks FROM THE RESIDENTS as their lives were enriched.

I was told by the director of the shelter that she could not ask (or even suggest) to these ladies that they send a thank you card. She informs be because they accept government money they cannot require the residents to do much of anything beyond not breaking the law and having mandatory counseling sessions. The shelter may impose rules for the safety of the common good but the ladies do not have to search for work, assist in cleaning the facility or preparing meals even though it is listed as a requirement it is an unenforceable requirement as it is not a safety issue or a legal violation.

Can anyone verify any of this or point me to a resource where I can verify it?

Thank you.

Von

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Thx mark45.....two issues ....one the funding is national and i have no idea who regulates such funding.

I suspect it is a grant and I have no idea what agency.

The other issue is I have no idea if these "federal guidelines" again are generic directives for shelter's in general or specific to a

special HHS or HUD directive or what. I am hoping someone here knows something about shelter operations that might

give me a lead.

It is NOT a Red Cross Shelter directive (interestingly enough as a church if we house someone in case of an emergency

at our church - we are not (if we are to be designated as a Red Cross Shelter) - we are not allowed to pray with them,

give them Bibles or rosaries even if they request them - even if we do so away from the general population or otherwise

act like a church. Which short of cracked me up. Obviously we did all of those things during Hurricane Katrina and we

will do them again so we will never be an official Red Cross approved location.

Thanks for the suggestion...not sure where to go...this shelter is not affiliated with any state agency (I at least found out

that much).....and has some counseling assistance from the Parish (we have Parishes in Louisiana instead of counties)

but I cannot find any Parish regulation about this matter.

Von

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Von, not to be picky, but it is a bad idea to think that people who are given charity owe something to those who give the charity. It devalues the willing sacrifice inherent in the act of charity. "I deserve" does not equal "You owe". Make any sense?

Edited by mererdog
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mererdog,

You raise a very valid point in general terms. I agree with you and it definitely make sense.

As noted the donors did not expect nor demand the gratitude (this time or ever.)

THAT was strictly MY suggestion to the director.

If I were in an institution and I was benefitting from some nice improvements in my living conditions, I might (MIGHT ) want to communicate those

feelings as I would be aware that this was a kindness. I try not to ignore such things.

Always getting without ever giving is not necessarily well balanced. Giving thanks while not required in any way - might have afforded someone a chance to reach back with kindness in equal measure.

Allowing chores, pride, a sense of accomplishment is part of human life.

Seems a life forced to constantly take without giving back would not be the best option.

Your point is very valid. But neither point of view (yours or mine) will provide a comprehensive answer - there must be give and take from both sides of the

equation. If you have no money - you can still reach in and validate someone's efforts ....not because they demand it or expect ...but for simply the opposite reason.

They deserve it because they do not expect nor demand it - you actually have the power to offer something to them that can't be bought.

You should, if respected, be afforded that right -in my view.

Thanks for the input. I always enjoy your insights....AND assistance.

von

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well, I would go to the person who told you this, and ask them for references.. They may have it all wrong, having learned if from someone who had it all wrong.. or maybe just mostly wrong.. My bet is they can't cite references, which makes the claim a bit suspect..

But, you can then contact some other places that do this, and inquire if they know of such policies or the source. The agencies that do this are far more likely than we, here, are to know something about the rules governing their operations, though they may well have them.. as I say.. all wrong. Someone likely knows from whence they arise..

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well, I would go to the person who told you this, and ask them for references.. They may have it all wrong, having learned if from someone who had it all wrong.. or maybe just mostly wrong.. My bet is they can't cite references, which makes the claim a bit suspect..

But, you can then contact some other places that do this, and inquire if they know of such policies or the source. The agencies that do this are far more likely than we, here, are to know something about the rules governing their operations, though they may well have them.. as I say.. all wrong. Someone likely knows from whence they arise..

Kokigami,

Thanks for your input. The director who told me all of this is someone I highly suspect is NOT telling the truth on more than this one topic.

In fact, I would especially like to pursue as at some point, (with inclusion of the Board of Directors) asking her those very questions

in conjunction (at the very least) with a performance evaluation.

However, before going to them (the Board) - if anyone would happen to know what agency or agencies from the federal government (if there is

or are one or some) that handle such things - I am reasonably sure I could verify several things that concern me.

Your idea of asking her directly to cite the statues is fine - if all else fails. I would like to have definite facts in hand before doing that.

Liars tend to be fast thinkers who can create more fairly quickly. Charismatic liars are sometimes more convincing than the truth.

I don't know that this is happening, but there are more reasons than I have listed here causing me to think that is the case.

To the best of my knowledge this one facility serves nine Parishes. And the other one in this state I was aware of closed more than a year ago.

So as far as I know this is the only one left in our state. There could me more but they don't advertise in the yellow pages. The location of this

facility is kept secret. Had they not called us for assistance (that we had to deliver to them) - I would not know about this place either.

This may not be a solvable situation. However there are lots of folks on here in the medical field, chaplaincy situations and law enforcement that might have

run into a facility like this (not run by a country or a church) (a free standing charity) .........someone surely does govern them but my visits with state and

Parish officials have run into lots of dead ends. Which tells me I am missing a large piece of the puzzle in my thinking.

I have contacted the clergy of the other churches I have worked with in assisting this home and none of them has any idea who actually oversees this

type of institution. I check with sanitation, local housing ordinances (they are just out of the city limit) also with the Parish board, the Sheriff and and the local

and Parish Social Services offices as well as the District Attorney and a librarian. No one seems to know who the definitive governing body for such a shelter

might be.......The building was purchased and donated to the group many years ago. They receive an annual stipend from one single benefactor that pays the utilities and a set amount for staffing ....the rest is raised from private sources and somehow qualifying for more than one grant.

My gut instinct at this point is - it has to be far simpler than it seems. Sometimes it is better to involve others as like most people - I might be missing the

simplest answer. I have done that before. Getting help often from unlikely places.

Thanks for validating my thinking is not too far afield in the questions that peaked my curiosity.

Eventually I'll figure it out.

Von

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Leaving aside the question of whether the director is correct about the limitations, is there any reason why you cannot suggest to residents that this other church be thanked?

Seeker,

That is sort of what I am trying to figure out.

Just because ‚ÄčI want something ....or I think something is necessary or a good idea doesn't make it one :doh:

I have made a few million mistakes in judgement in my life. Which taught me I am wrong a good chunk of the time.

Never having been an abused woman I really don't know (other than pretty awful) what the nitty gritty emotional churn they face feels like. If there is remotely a chance that such regulations exist - I would rather take the time to learn more, understand that my thinking is not going to make things rougher for them in any way - than assume everyone is starting the conversation from my side of the bridge.

If such a regulation would exist, I want to understand why before doing anything that could 1) give offense 2) add pressure or guilt in a fragile situation or 3) violate someones confidentiality or security in any way - even remotely

mererdog raised one issue that is in the back of my mind (and was early on) so it seems going slow is wiser than hurrying to "right" as defined by me when I in fact am pretty far off the mark as any kind of expert.

BTW, should anyone want any follow up information this is what I have found so far.....

1) the fire department (of all places) had a start of some codes since it is a multiple resident facility

2) a former volunteer at the shelter from "one of the other churches" offered me a couple of good starting spots so I guess I finally have a first

step and a toehold to getting to the bottom of all this.....

http://ww1.umn.edu/humanrts/svaw/domestic/laws/samplelaws.htm

http://www.ncadv.org/aboutus.php

There was enough information on those two pages to get things rolling and I have recruited a couple of folks from the church to help us

really understand what is expected and what is the norm for such operations.

As always I appreciate the FORUM members for their input.

Von

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