House of Peace Domestic Violence Shelter
The House of Peace Domestic Violence Shelter is a haven of healing for the Latina community of Northern Lake County, IL. Our model is unique in its vision of holistic healing, designed to release the body and soul from the shackles of insult and abuse. Transformative changes are made possible within our intimate, wholesome setting; changes designed to resonate beyond our walls, modeling dignity and courage to the entire community.
The population served by House of Peace and Phoenix Program is low-income and often lacks legal documentation, resulting in a lack of connection to a support system or healthcare, a lack of knowledge of/access to available community resources and a lack of awareness of how violence is perpetuated and its effects. For example, women who are victimized typically do not feel comfortable obtaining gynecological checkups or mammograms. They have often been indoctrinated that money should not be spent on their health and that no one else (even a licensed professional) is allowed to see their body.
Women take on the mindset that their health and well-being are not important, that their body is the property of their significant other and/or that any attention to their body is shameful. Through our services, we help women to change these unhealthy mindsets and help them to pursue medical and other resources available to them. Clients receive critical support services and have access to legal assistance and other community social services. The majority of our clients are mothers with minor children under the age of sixteen. They are at a risk because they are being physically and emotionally abused and often become homeless when fleeing from their abuser. The 2010 Lake County Point-in-time Count Report cites that more families become homeless from domestic violence than from anything else, with 30 % of homeless families being homeless due to domestic violence. Another fact is that last fiscal year over 1,000 orders of protection were filed in Lake County area.
Our clients are in need of intensive therapeutic counseling, education, legal assistance, healthcare, transportation, shelter and a way in which to financially sustain themselves and provide food for their families.
“We are here to be community to one another. We are here to help carry the burdens for each other – to offer grace, to offer love.”
Since 2011, The House of Peace has opened our doors and our hearts to Latino women and children experiencing and overcoming domestic violence. These women face ongoing problems related to poverty, homelessness, isolation, debilitating trauma symptoms, and family abuse, along with cultural shock while learning to adapt to a new environment. Our housing and family violence recovery programs enable our clients to step out of poverty, break the cycle, of violence, and embrace a future filled with hope and self- determination.
Heal Six-month residency in our intimate setting creates a sense of sisterhood among women. Individual and group counseling, art therapy, yoga, semi-annual retreats, and a nurturing family environment provide avenues toward healing for those who lived in fear. Our Phoenix Program has been counseling victims and survivors of domestic violence since 2007.
Empower Nurturing accountability and development; we seek to empower the women to advocate for themselves and their children. Classes in ESL, health & nutrition, cooking, knitting, and parenting encourage trans-formative change, a renewed faith in oneself and hope in the future. Our Esperanza Project teaches women to make rosaries, jewelry, and art to sell in the community and thereby gain financial empowerment. The many children receive tutoring, art therapy, yoga, meditation classes, and have fun on monthly field trips.
Sustain Our vision is to empower healthy, sustainable independence for our families. Our program includes follow-up pastoral home visits to our families after they have moved out of the shelter.
In 2018, Catholic Charities welcomed The House of Peace to its family of programs, bringing additional access to a broad spectrum of social services and care models.
Advocate's Congregational Outreach has been providing support and educational sessions/presentations to the House of Peace and Phoenix Support Group for survivors of domestic violence. Health professionals have been helping address issues of mental, physical and emotional health. Advocate has strengthened the wellness focus of our program to empower the community through education and prevention. Topics presented have ranged from healthy eating, parenting skills, coping with stress, resilience, excessive technology use, depression, anxiety, and more. We value this partnership that has elevated the quality of our health education to a community that has less access and resources to information and services. We especially value the leadership of Suzanne Martinez, Congregational Outreach Advocate Health for making this partnership consistent and successful for over two years.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
House of Peace
Aida Segura 224-430-4977 or www.houseofpeaceshelter.org