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Update from Inga James, MSW, PhD, Heartly House President & Executive Director

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Our community is facing an unprecedented situation right now, and there is understandably a great deal of anxiety and confusion. With the quickly moving events, I have created this update so that you are informed of how Heartly House is responding.

As a trauma informed organization, we here at Heartly House know that one of the best ways to reduce anxiety is to practice gratitude, so I’d like to share some of the things I’m grateful for today. First, I am gratified that Heartly House has been able to ensure that all staff will not lose income, as have many in our community. Also, we are fortunate to be able to make accommodations for employees at high risk and those who need to care for out-of-school children.

And it goes without saying that we all have great empathy for friends and family members who work as servers, bartenders, artists, performers, and in gyms, theaters, and other venues and find themselves without jobs or paid leave at this time.

Yet, at the top of my mind is my extended community – the victims here in Frederick County who are trapped in their homes with their abusers. Children can find no relief from their sexually abusive relatives, and spouses walk softly on their eggshells hoping to dodge the explosions. I am so grateful Heartly House is still available for them as they face quarantine with their loved ones who brutalize them.

Through all this, please know that we all remain committed to providing the highest quality client services possible while keeping our staff safe. We continue providing quality, albeit different, services to victims and survivors.

  • Hotline and shelter, our essential programs, keep up the critical, lifesaving, first response help our victims need to be safe.
  • Clinical staff are able to maintain critical counseling appointments via telephone and video conference.
  • The Legal Team continues to represent victims at protective order hearings and are working with clients, both in the courthouse and virtually.
  • Abuser Intervention Program services are continuing remotely.
  • Our emergency hospital accompaniment program has been halted for the time being. We will be providing support to anyone taken to Frederick Health for sexual assault or intimate partner violence via phone.
  • Outreach and prevention staff are working to transition programming to virtual platforms (Watch for more on this!

 

Be safe, be well and most importantly – be there for one another.

Sincerely,
Inga James, MSW, PhD
President & Executive Director
Heartly House, Inc.
ijames@heartlyhouse.org
HeartlyHouse.org
301-662-8800

PS – Heartly House staff continue to take shelter requests and our Hotline, 301-662-8800 remains available 24/7.

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