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Fairfield County Community Foundation Awards $25,000 Grant to Aid Victims of Domestic Violence

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Two months after taking advantage of multiple services provided by the Domestic Violence Crisis Center – including counseling, legal, housing and financial advocacy – Tanya* returned for a follow-up meeting with the agency’s Housing Advocate. She was literally glowing with excitement over her new job, which gave her double her previous salary and, for the first time in her life, included benefits and vacation pay. Now she had not only the confidence, but also the financial means to live independently from her abusive husband.

 Thanks to a $25,000 grant to the DVCC from the Fairfield County Community Foundation, many more clients like Tanya will continue to receive wrap-around, enhanced services that help them through their immediate crisis and beyond.

 “Safety and crisis intervention is our first priority for clients, but we also have to help provide them with the tools they need to be independent and self-sufficient,” said DVCC Executive Director Rachelle Kucera Mehra. “To that end, our financial empowerment programs strive to give our clients a greater understanding of the detrimental effects of financial abuse, the ability to understand and manage their finances and credit histories and, in general, help them move forward toward economic self-sufficiency. At the same time, we provide housing assistance in a myriad of ways, from advocating for the rights of victims of domestic violence within various housing programs to help with negotiating leases.”

 The grant will help to support all of DVCC’s services, with an emphasis on Housing Advocacy and on the Medical Advocacy Project, which provides training to medical professionals on recognizing and responding to victims of domestic violence. Since its inception in 2009, MAP has trained more than 2,000 medical professionals.

 The DVCC is committed to promoting the fundamental right of all individuals to be safe in their personal relationships. With a professional staff who have years of experience and advocacy in the field of domestic violence, the agency offers confidential services at no charge, including court and legal services, group and individual counseling, SafeHouses and housing services, children’s services, medical advocacy, professional adult trainings, multilingual services, PeaceWorks prevention education, a 24-hour hotline (1-888-774-2900) and EsperanzaCT, a Spanish language website and 24-hour phone service line. DVCC is the only domestic violence agency serving the communities of Stamford, Norwalk, Westport, Darien, New Canaan, Wilton and Weston. For more information please call 203-588-9100 or visit our website at www.dvccct.org.

The Fairfield County Community Foundation promotes the growth of community and regional philanthropy to improve the quality of life throughout Fairfield County. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds and contribute to existing funds. The Foundation also provides philanthropic advisory services and develops and leads initiatives to tackle critical community issues. It is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards for community foundations. The Foundation has awarded over $135 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. For more information, visit www.fccfoundation.org


*Name changed for safety