23 Nov Letter to Editor – November 2011
Posted at 21:05h in Director's Corner
November 23, 2011
On Saturday, Nov. 18, approximately 1,500 gallons of water from a broken sprinkler in an upstairs bedroom flooded SAFE Shelter. As a 16 year veteran in the field of domestic violence, I am used to handling crisis, but nothing prepared me for something like this.
After arriving at the shelter that morning, I was totally overwhelmed at the magnitude of the damage. But I quickly found out that I was not alone in handling the situation. The fire department was there and Chatham County Fire Marshall Jack Moore was on the phone with me, walking me through the whole process. One of the firemen immediately called the Red Cross to arrange temporary shelter for our 45 residents.
And soon, everything was under control. The SAFE Shelter staff immediately came out and before I knew it, the Red Cross was there to save the day. The Chatham Emergency Management Agency and Chatham County Health Department met me at the shelter the next day, again, providing the expertise and assistance I needed.
The SAFE Shelter Board of Directors became involved from the beginning and provided me with comfort, support and guidance. Calls from the United Way of The Coastal Empire and other social service agencies reminded me I was not alone. The local television news crews were here, not to sensationalize, but to help us get our story out to the community. They have all been very respectful of the confidential nature of our agency and have provided timely, accurate reporting.
So this Thanksgiving season, I want to give thanks to the many, many people who never hesitated in jumping in to help. The shelter staff, some working around the clock, are still answering crisis calls to make sure any new victims of domestic violence and their children are taken care of. All of our families are now in safe places until we can bring them back. In a world where bad, depressing news often dominates the headlines, I want to remind this community we are resilient and despite our differences, always come together in a time of crisis.
We will reopen and with your help and support, be able to keep our doors open to those fleeing the violence in their homes as we have done for over 30 years.
Thank you Savannah.
Cheryl Haven Branch