October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and S.H.A.R.E., Inc.’s 35th Anniversary.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and at S.H.A.R.E., Inc. we are marking the 35th Anniversary of providing confidential services to victims of domestic violence in Morgan County.
Our history. The initial goal of the group that founded S.H.A.R.E., Inc., was finding a way to help two populations – recovering alcoholics, and battered women, under the name Safe Homes And Rehabilitative Environments (S.H.A.R.E., Inc.). As the organization was formed the group realized that it was not going to be possible to help both populations in one facility, and they decided to focus on helping battered women and their children.
In 1981, S.H.A.R.E., Inc. was officially founded as a nonprofit, community-based 501(c)(3) organization and initial start-up work was done by volunteers – to develop policies and procedures, recruit and train volunteer advocates, and secure funding. Volunteers were trained with a curriculum presented through a local community college.
The next step was implementing a network of safe homes, with trained volunteers opening their homes to victims and their children while administrative work was done around kitchen tables.
The first night in the new shelter. Once funding was secured, the organization was able to rent a house which became the administrative offices and shelter. The first night we had the key to the house, we took a crisis call from a woman with five children. This family desperately needed a safe place to escape the abuse in their home. The new facility had not been furnished yet, or the kitchen stocked, but we rounded up sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets, gathered some of our pots and pans, dishes and groceries, and the family slept securely that night in a safe place. Local women’s groups and other individuals helped furnish and stock the house and office.
Enhancing facilities and services. As new sources of funding became available through government grants, private foundations and local charities and fundraisers, we moved from an all-volunteer to full-time paid staff supplemented by a team of volunteers. Eventually, we were able to put on an addition to the shelter facility, and later we acquired a second building where the outreach client offices and administration are located, which increased the capacity at the shelter.
We are one of just two full service – with safe house facility – community-based domestic violence programs in Northeast Colorado. We provide a comprehensive range of services tailored to individual needs, beginning with crisis intervention – with 24/7 access – to ongoing individual and group support in English and Spanish. We provide Teen Dating Violence Prevention curriculum in local schools and do community education and training.