Details for ST JUDE HOUSE - Ad from 2023-03-19

St. Jude House Continues to Shine Light on Public Health Emergency that Remains in Shadows A t 12490 Marshall St. in Crown Point, St. Jude House is a family violence prevention center and shelter providing comprehensive services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault since 1995. St. Jude House is a nonprofit organization providing service without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Its facility is accessible to clients of all abilities. “We are a home-like 40-bed domestic violence shelter that serves hundreds of adults and children every year,” says Ryan Elinkowski, St. Jude House Executive Director. “All residential and nonresidential services and programming are offered at no cost. With 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men as victims of severe intimate partner violence in their lifetime, the need for services is more important than ever.” St. Jude House shelter services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In addition, it maintains a 24-hour crisis line at 800-254-1286. Whether a person is in an immediate crisis situation or not, St. Jude House encourages people to call the 800 number to discuss possible resources, to get answers to their questions or to schedule a face-to-face meeting with an Advocate. Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Abuse may be physical, sexual, emotional, financial or psychological actions or threats that influence another person. “Our experienced Direct Services Team serves with a compassionate, traumainformed care approach,” says Elinkowski. “Our Legal Advocate assists our clients with navigating the legal system and protective orders and leads our Financial Empowerment classes. Our Adult Advocate leads several support groups, explores trauma history and identifies specific counseling needs. Our Case Manager helps our clients with housing, employment, transportation and educational needs. Our Children’s Advocate creates exploratory play opportunities and therapeutic art projects. She also helps our children with homework and enrolls them in their new schools, if needed. And our Community Advocates are deployed into communities to meet victims in a safe place within their community, to provide the services and assistance they need the most.” Since opening 28 years ago, St. Jude House “Keeping friendships or connections to has served more than 15,000 adult clients family slowly became impossible and and children on their mission to break the dangerous for Stephanie,” says Elinkowski. cycle of domestic violence in all its forms. At first, Stephanie hoped that Joey’s father Over the last 12 months St. Jude House would change, especially because he was has served more children than adults, a well-known and friendly pillar of the offering more than 10,000 nights of safe local community. But it was Stephanie shelter. Their 24-hour crisis line received who changed, becoming overwhelmed thousands of calls and its non-residential and defeated. It was only when Joey was services served hundreds more annually. in danger that Stephanie was able to rally, “Even before there was a global pandemic, to save her son from experiencing what domestic violence was considered to be a she had been going through for years. serious public health emergency in which approximately 20 people per minute are St. Jude House gave mother and son a victims of physical violence by an intimate lifeline. It was a place to go staffed with partner with 20,000 crisis calls made daily people trained in helping abuse victims. to domestic violence hotlines across the It was filled with people who cared country,” says Elinkowski. “Since the and who help empower women such as pandemic started in 2020, DV related Stephanie with the tools and resources homicides in Indiana have increased 182%.” on their journey to self-sufficiency in living a life free from abuse of any kind. Obviously, the need for domestic violence programming services remains “Not surprisingly, many children are often extremely high. Need for monetary injured in the crossfire of the violence, donations remains extremely high as when objects are thrown or overturned,” well, as 100% of funding for St. Jude says Elinkowski. Young children are House comes from individuals, corporate especially at risk and sustain the most sponsorships, grants and foundations. serious injuries, including broken bones Among those St. Jude House has served, and concussions. Older children often try Elinkowski recalls a 6-year-old-boy he calls to intervene and can be severely injured. “Joey” who cut off his hair, leaving bald These children are living in an environment patches on his head. But he didn’t do so like of fear and stress. They believe that many of our children have who are playing domestic abuse in the home is normal. barber or beautician. As he later explained to Miss Dawn, the Children’s Advocate Today, Stephanie and Joey are living at St. Jude House, Joey cut his hair off free from abuse, and Joey is happy and that morning so his father “wouldn’t have healthy with a full head of hair. Bringing any hair to pull and drag him around the Joey to St. Jude House for help hopefully house anymore, like he did the night before.” breaks the cycle of violence as experts believe that children who grow up in In other words, he decided “no hair, abusive families think that violence is no hurt,” says Elinkowski, who points an appropriate way to settle conflict. out that statistics show an 80% greater chance of physical child abuse in Elinkowski suggests that those interested homes where an adult family member in helping contact St. Jude House is experiencing domestic violence. Development Director Buffy Adams at Joey’s mother “Stephanie” had suffered years of abuse from Joey’s father, who repeatedly threatened to kill her and Joey if she left. The father also denied her access to the types of documents and personal articles we all need -- medication, birth certificates, Social Security cards, favorite toys, school supplies, clothes, shoes and a driver’s license. His violence escalated over the years, typically followed by apologies, gifts and promises to change. But he also worked to isolate her from family and friends. If you go What: Stand Up for St. Jude House Comedy Night, the organization’s largest fundraiser of the year. The event includes live music and comedy, dinner, open bar and raffles. When: 6 p.m. May 19 Where: County Line Orchard, 200 S. County Line Road, Hobart FYI: Contact Buffy Adams at