GR US

DOP Gives Hope & Resources to Domestic Violence Survivors

Εθνικός Κήρυξ

Panelists included: Daughters of Penelope Grand Secretary Georgette Boulegeris, DOP Executive Director Elena Saviolakis, Health Imperatives’ Vice President of Development and Community Relations Jennifer Allison, DOP Grand President Celia Kachmarski, Health Imperatives’ CEO & President Julie Kehoe, and DOP Grand Governor Kathy Matrakas. Photo: Elena Saviolakis

WASHINGTON, DC – The Daughters of Penelope (DOP), a leading international service organization comprised of women of Hellenic heritage and Philhellenes, continues its national project series which includes weekly webinars on each of their national projects through February. The fifth webinar of the series was about Penelope's Place, and live streamed on February 11 with Health Imperatives' CEO & President Julie Kehoe and Vice President of Development and Community Relations Jennifer Allison.

Penelope's Place, a collaboration between the DOP and Health Imperatives, is a 24/7 emergency residence in the City of Brockton, MA, for women and children fleeing domestic violence. Residents live at Penelope's Place for an average of 90 days. During that time Penelope's Place staff provides a safe place for healing from the trauma of domestic violence. Each resident is assigned to a primary staff person, who works with the resident and her family to develop goals to achieve self-sufficiency upon leaving Penelope's Place. Services provided include counseling, housing, legal and medical advocacy, life skills, parenting skills, and job coaching. In addition, children receive services from a specialized child therapist. Penelope's Place can accommodate up to five families at any time.

Εθνικός Κήρυξ

A presentation slide on Health Imperatives’ programs during the Daughters of Penelope webinar on Penelope’s Place. Photo: Elena Saviolakis

“Penelope's Place is a respite from danger and a place of healing that shelters a growing number of domestic violence survivors and helps them create a better future. In FY20, the shelter served 67 survivors, an increase of 43% since FY18, and in the first half of FY21 we have already served 43 survivors. To better meet the complex needs of survivors, Penelope's Place offers counseling, housing search assistance, cooking classes, recreational opportunities, wellness activities, and financial literacy coaching. An emergency assistance fund helps survivors cover necessities as they move out of the shelter into their own independent households, and a matching funds program assists them in building savings. We are so grateful to the Daughters of Penelope for making Penelope's Place a welcoming and comfortable home for so many survivors. The shelter has become a true family that gives survivors hope, encouragement, and the resources they need to recover and thrive,” said Health Imperatives' CEO & President Kehoe.

Additional guest panelists on the webinar included DOP Grand President Celia Kachmarski, Grand Secretary Georgette Boulegeris, Grand Governor Kathy Matrakas, and Executive Director Elena Saviolakis.

Grand President Kachmarski said, “I was fortunate to visit and tour Penelope's Place before the pandemic and learn more about the life saving programs and services offered to domestic violence survivors. We are proud to support Penelope's Place and families with the resources they need to thrive, especially during this COVID era.”

The sixth webinar of the national project series, on the Penelopean Day Care Center located in Athens, Greece, will live stream on Thursday, February 18, with DOP Karyatides Chapter No. 271 President Veronica Tsalta. The center is a nursing and day care center for children eight months to preschool aged of underprivileged families with low or no income.

Founded in San Francisco in 1929, the Daughters of Penelope is the first women's organization of its kind established in the United States. It is an affiliate organization of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA).

The mission of the DOP is to promote the ancient Greek ideals of Hellenism, Education, Philanthropy, Civic Responsibility, and Family and Individual Excellence.

More information is available online: www.daughtersofpenelope.org and for Health Imperatives: https://healthimperatives.org.