Family Counseling and Shelter Services of Monroe County recently received its third grant from the DTE Foundation.
The last price was $ 6,100.
FCSS also received $ 6,000 from DTE in December 2019. In December 2020, due to the pandemic, DTE increased the price to $ 15,000.
The DTE Foundation awarded three grants to each of Michigan’s 45 domestic violence shelters funded by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. In total, the donation totaled $ 1.8 million. The goal is to create shelters for victims of domestic violence, especially during the pandemic, when domestic violence has increased statewide.
“Safe and nurturing homes are the foundation of a healthy and vibrant Michigan because they allow people to devote all of their energy to their families, communities and jobs. The DTE Foundation has the ability to step in, bring the domestic violence epidemic to the forefront and make a meaningful difference for the shelters and the Michigan residents they support, ”said Lynette Dowler, Foundation President DTE.
Crystal Martin, executive director of Family Counseling Shelter Services in Monroe County, said FCSS has seen an increase of about 20% in domestic violence calls since the start of the pandemic.
“We had a lot more people calling, looking for support services. We were at full capacity the entire time, ”said Martin. “We have not abandoned any program or service.”
She is happy with the DTE prices.
“Domestic violence shelters, even without COVID, are in dire need of funding. It’s exciting to have a foundation like DTE that supports and recognizes the needs of our county and the state as a whole, ”said Martin. “People find it difficult to deal with domestic violence. Having shelters for domestic violence is a safe haven. When they do, victims have the power to stay away from the abuser and learn how not to enter an abusive relationship later. We can only do this if we have financial support. DTE has been very supportive through COVID, helping all domestic violence shelters statewide, even if they are not (in this city). They were amazing. We have received smaller grants from them (in the past). If we have fundraisers, they’re great for volunteering and they give grants too. “
Due to COVID and its continuing effects, FCSS will use most of the DTE funds to continue its day-to-day operations.
“It’s really nice to have this additional funding so that we can continue to operate. We’re still taking a hit from COVID, ”Martin said.
FCSS is funded by the federal government, United Way, donors and fundraisers. Funds remain down because of the pandemic.
“Donors were wondering if I’m going to get a paycheck? Martin said.
FCSS has also had to cancel some of its biggest annual fundraisers, including a spring dinner.
“We had everything planned for 2020. The closure took place two weeks before our event. Dinners are $ 15,000 to $ 20,000. It’s a lot of money to lose, ”said Martin.
Consulting services were also down. While victims of domestic violence and sexual assault receive free counseling, others pay, which provides income for the organization.
“A lot of people wanted to wait in person. We have lost funds, ”said Martin. “For 2020, we had 720 clients between our counseling and domestic violence and sexual assault clients. Approximately 3,000 nights of accommodation and 334 free counseling sessions on domestic violence or 100 percent sexual assault.
Family Counseling Shelter Services of Monroe County, 14930 LaPlaisane Rd., Suite 106, has served Monroe County since 1966. It currently has 21 staff and a number of volunteers.
FCSS operates an 18 bed domestic violence shelter, a children’s center and a full range of counseling services, including an anger management program, a domestic violence prevention program, children’s art therapy, professional counseling, perpetrator inventor program, 24 hour crisis support, domestic violence support group, parenting classes, divorce recovery support group and therapy visits.
Telehealth began during the pandemic.
“One positive thing about COVID was to think outside the box. We asked how can we still serve everyone in County Monroe with the closures? It’s really important in the future for people without transportation, those on the outskirts of the county, people confined to the house, even people sick that day, ”Martin said.
Domestic violence, she said, remains a problem.
“We see a lot of customers. Domestic violence is high in Monroe County and statewide. Mental health services are badly needed. We see the usual needs – depression, suicide, family conflict – but COVID has added unemployment and loss of family members. There is an increase in mental health needs, ”said Martin. “We still hope that we will see a decrease, but unfortunately the most important needs are in mental health and domestic violence.”
FCSS’s consultation services are accessible to everyone. Most insurances are accepted. Sliding fees and reduced fees are available.
“We will work with them. We will not reject anyone who needs advice, ”said Martin. “You don’t have to be at the shelter to get services, like help finding a job or looking after children. You can get any of our services as a non-resident of the shelter. We want to make sure we serve everyone. “
Family Counseling and Shelter Services in Monroe County is in need of donations and volunteers.
Before COVID, the organization had more than 100 volunteers, but that number has declined significantly.
Dana Marshall, Volunteer Coordinator, tries to put together the list of volunteers.
“Volunteers help sort out donations, train at home or online, teach classes, babysit, do activities with the kids, help with transportation, help our shelter advocates. We can always use volunteers, ”said Crystal Martin, Director.
To learn more about volunteering, call Marshall at (734) 241-0180.