“Gimme Shelter” was a hit song by the rock and roll band The Rolling Stones in the late 1960s.
Today it could also serve as the current theme song for Cannon County’s domestic violence program, S.A.V.E.
While S.A.V.E has provided much-needed assistance to the over 200 clients it has served since September 2008, it wants to, and knows it can, do more.
One of the services the agency has not been able to offer locally to victims of domestic violence is a community shelter, or safe home.
Securing a building that can be used as a shelter for abuse victims has become the No. 1 priority of S.A.V.E. Director Lisa Baird.
“We are working on a shelter. We don’t have a shelter at this time. We desperately need one for this county,” Baird said.
“We’ve been asking people who might want to help out and donate a building or a home that we could use,” Baird said. “It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but we need something that will work. We can handle fixing one up. We are working on fund raisers and things to try and raise money.”
A domestic violence shelter is a building or set of apartments where abused and battered persons can go to seek refuge from their abusers. The location of the shelter is kept confidential in order to keep the abuser from finding their victims.
Domestic violence shelters generally have room for both a victim parent and their children. The shelter provides for all basic living needs, including food and childcare. The length of time victims stay at the shelter is limited, but most shelters will also help them find a permanent home, job, and other things needed to start a new life.
S.A.V.E. advocates for victims of abuse by providing food, clothing, Orders of Protection, court advocacy and assistance in locating safe housing. S.A.V.E. works to provide crisis counseling, and individual, group and family therapy, all in the hope of increasing victims’ safety and success.
S.A.V.E. also provides job training and public education. “Our mission is to improve the quality of life for our victims. S.A.V.E. works to instill hope and security back into our victims so that they can continue on living a fruitful, accomplished life,” Baird said.
“We also connect clients with other outside resources and affiliated county agencies, advocate for the abolishment of domestic violence and work to educate our victims and the public on the recognition of domestic violence.”
S.A.V.E. is a small program with large expectations and responsibilities. “We are working to increase our offered resources and are working to build a much needed community shelter,” Baird said.
“However, inadequate funding has made it hard to fully service the county. This lack of resources disable adequate functioning for our programs. Our program was created to save those in need. However, S.A.V.E. is in need as well. In order to continue our services, we need donations. We need volunteers. We need resources. In order to accomplish our goals, we need help from the community.”
If you would like to aid the agency’s fight against abuse, hunger, and homelessness, contact S.A.V.E. at (615) 569-6690.