Governor Mike DeWine’s “Stay at Home” order has been the new normal for many Ohioans, but for those who experience violence inside their homes, it has proven to be a significantly harder challenge. Women Helping Women (WHW) focuses on crisis intervention and prevention in the areas of gender-based violence. Although survivors are predominantly women, WHW also provides support to men and the LGBTQ community.
COVID-19’s social limitations have hindered the agency from leading many of their in-person programs like Domestic Violence Enhancement Response Team (DVERT). In partnership with the Cincinnati Police Department, DVERT allows a team member to be onsite right away to provide immediate and ongoing support to survivors.
The COVID-19 Regional Relief Fund activated by United Way of Greater Cincinnati (UWGC) and Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) has helped WHW adapt to new technology that supports survivors by meeting them virtually in isolation. It has kept their staff working productively, which is crucial to support the increase in calls to their 24-hour crisis intervention hotline. Recent requests for help have centered around security, food, safety, basic needs, and overall physical well-being.
“We are so grateful that the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund mobilized so quickly to provide immediate relief to our agency. We have been able to pivot to match the current climate and reach survivors where they need us most,” says WHW Senior Development Manager Emma Kamrass. “Calls into our hotline have increased 30 percent since this pandemic began in our region, and this funding has been instrumental to fulfilling our mission of empowering all survivors.”
The rapid-response fund has already distributed more than $4.6 million into our region and will continue to support those in our communities who are most vulnerable to the health, economic, education, housing, and social impacts of the crisis.
In response to the rapidly evolving coronavirus pandemic, Greater Cincinnati Foundation and United Way of Greater Cincinnati have activated the cross-sector COVID-19 Regional Response Fund to quickly address the critical needs of our community. To learn more about the organizations impacted by this fund, visit www.covid19regionalfund.org/impact.