Domestic violence shelter looks to community to raise nearly a half million dollars
By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — On Thursday, Feb. 12, representatives from Shirley’s House of Hope announced the public launch of their capital campaign, which aims to raise $572,000.
The fundraising effort has already fulfilled 23 percent of its funding goal in its “quiet phase,” and now Shirley’s House of Hope will look to the public to provide the rest of the money.
The funds would allow the domestic violence shelter to add two additional rooms for women and children, an overnight manager suite, a new garage and storage unit, and create a more efficient office space for staff.
Shirley’s House of Hope, which opened in October of 2010, is a faith-based program that has provided services to 175 women and children since its inception. The shelter is funded entirely by community donations. Co-founders Julie Cravillion and Sue Poole believe that the capital campaign will help make needed improvements to the shelter and secure the future of Shirley’s House of Hope.
“We really tried to have a vision of what we’re going to need for the next 10 years,” Cravillion said in describing the goal of the capital campaign. “We will be collecting pledges for three years. We would certainly hope to finish collecting money by the end of 2015.”
The shelter provides a place for women and children to stay if they are dealing with the effects of domestic violence. Shirley’s House of Hope emphasizes goal setting for the women that stay there and works to provide them with resources and skills to succeed once they leave the shelter.
Their program is based on three main services: Rebuild, renew, and restore.
The rebuilding service grants women shelter, meets short-term needs, and works to make women more self-sufficient. The renew aspect of the program focuses on goal setting and life skills. Restore concerns setting women up to make a successful transition out of the shelter.
Cravillion said that the women who stay at the shelter begin their day with devotions followed by a community meeting of the residents in the shelter, and then classes, appointments, and case management and counseling meetings happen throughout the rest of their days. The women are also responsible for various assigned chores within the shelter. Cravillion said that they have had women ages 18 to 87 stay at the shelter.
The success of the capital campaign is integral to continuing to provide a high level of service to these women, Cravillion said.
“It’s going to provide two more bedrooms so we can service more women. Because we’ve been … turning people away, we know the need is greater than what we can provide for right now,” Cravillion said.
Shirley’s House of Hope can currently house seven women at one time, and the typical stay is three months, Cravillion said. She added that the shelter serves Wood, Marathon, and Clark counties.
During the introductory press conference for the campaign on Feb. 12, program director and co-founder Poole spoke broadly about the impact of domestic violence on society.
“Domestic violence is just a scourge on our society, and it is underestimated. It could be the woman next door to you or the woman you see in the grocery store. We never know what’s going on in other people’s homes,” Poole said. “We feel like our holistic approach that Shirley’s House of Hope brings to the problem will just ensure that these women do not continue in the cycle of domestic violence for the rest of their lives.”
Those interested in donating to the campaign can do so online by visiting shirleyshouseofhope.org/donate.php or can send payments via mail to P.O. Box 207, Marshfield WI, 54449. For questions call 715-486-9000.