Many of the elected officials I speak with tell me they ran for office because they had a deep commitment to their community and a few issues they felt a need to champion. So often they remark that once elected, they learned so much more about every issue affecting the environment, economy, infrastructure and the people they serve. I’m always awestruck as they describe the breadth of knowledge they absorb in those first years of public service.
Domestic violence is often one of those issues they had never considered… but as they learn about the issues affecting public safety, are surprised to learn it’s a fundamental concern. As Supervisor Peter Martin says, “Domestic violence is one of the most prominent crimes”, and the services Wellspring provides are, “a vital part of our social safety net.” Click here for more from Peter.
The United Way of the Greater Capital Region has a vision that all members of a community are connected , “These are our friends, neighbors and coworkers. As members of a community, we are all connected. One person’s suffering is our suffering too. And when one person succeeds, we all win.” They support programs that address four primary building blocks of wellness and self-sufficiency.
To really understand community need, they regularly analyze strengths, challenges, obstacles and innovative best practices and share them se so programs can be most effective n the work they do with clients. Click here to hear from Brian Hassett on why they’ve “always supported domestic safety organizations and why Wellspring’s services are so important.”
Wellspring’s crisis services are well known: a 24-hour hotline that responds to about 1,700 calls/year, Saratoga County’s only domestic violence shelter, and 24/7 accompaniment to the hospital or police for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault. Even non-crisis support services like counseling, and legal advocacy are well known. But many people are surprised by the multitude of services we offer to support basic needs and economic self-sufficiency. From essential needs like our food pantry, clothing assistance, and our rent subsidized housing program that last year alone provided 17,000 bed nights of safe slumber in violence-free apartments for 75 adults and children, to holiday assistance for 200 people/year, assistance with summer camps so the parent can remain working, and backpacks and school supplies for more than 130 children this year, we regularly support families in getting back on their feet, feeling stable and becoming self- sufficient. Addressing those four basic building blocks can provide a sound foundation for a safe and healthy future.