HUNTSVILLE, Ala — The Women's Philanthropy Society of the Community Foundations of Greater Huntsville awarded $100,000 in grant money to First Stop and the National Children's Advocacy Center (NCAC). The support goes to First Stop’s “S.A.F.E. Program for Homeless Women” and the NCAC’s “Handle with Care” project. These programs help local women and children who may be affected by trauma or homelessness.
National Children’s Advocacy Center Executive Director Chris Newlin said the society's donation is something that will something that will greatly benefit children within the community.
"Their generosity and commitment to supporting the Handle with Care Program is an important step in creating a more trauma-informed community and will ensure children who experience trauma are provided the support they need in the school setting." said Newlin, "Our community will be the first in Alabama to implement this program, and we hope to see this expand throughout the state in the future."
The $50,000 grant awarded to the NCAC will help the Handle with Care Program lessen the effect of trauma on a child’s classroom experience. According to NCAC, schools are informed discreetly by law enforcement or first responders when a child has been involved with a traumatic event at home or outside of home. The group also informs educators to “handle with care” when working with the child, without disclosing confidential information.
The additional $50,000 of the grant was given to First Stop's “S.A.F.E. Program for Homeless Women”. The First Stop says this program helps to reduce the number of homeless women in Huntsville by providing intentional, multidisciplinary care that addresses each woman's unique needs.
The acronym "S.A.F.E." stands for showers and day center services (S), access to medical and mental health care (A), full-time trained case managers trained in crisis and support (F), and education and support groups (E). By using a gendered approach to client care, First Stop hopes the program will bridge a gap in homeless services and provide women with a supportive and safe path out of homelessness.
The Women's Philanthropy Society awards at least one grant to help women in need and their families. Their mission is focused on creating a framework to create a positive impact on the community.