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Apna Ghar’s empowers domestic violence survivors to be self-sufficient through a full spectrum of services from education to emergency and transitional housing to counseling and legal services.
The agency was founded as an emergency hotline in 1990 by five Asian American women who recognized that cultural barriers were preventing South Asian victims of domestic violence from seeking help.
Today, Apna Ghar continues to specialize in serving immigrant women who must overcome significant barriers to life the United States and are unfamiliar with the protective options and resources available to them in this country. Each year, Apna Ghar serves approximately 500 women, men, and children from over 45 countries: 39% of our clients are from South Asia; 14% from Sub-Saharan Africa; 12% from East and Central Asia; 12% from the Middle East and North Africa; 3% from Europe; 2% from Latin America and the Caribbean; and the remaining 18% originate from the United States. In addition, over 60% of our clients are mothers who are the primary sources of financial support for their families.
Apna Ghar provides the following services:
24-Hour Hotline: Our hotline addresses the immediate safety needs of callers, who can connect to our services, get referrals to other programs, and get information about domestic violence and the protective options available to them.
Emergency Shelter: Our 15-bed, 24-hour emergency shelter provides women and their children who are escaping abuse a home-like atmosphere where they can regain control of their lives. Care is taken to maintain a culturally sensitive, secure, and healing environment.
Transitional Housing: Our seven transitional housing apartments offer Apna Ghar shelter clients who have moved beyond an emergency phase the space to establish long-term self-sufficiency. Transitional housing is available for 18-24 months. All transitional housing residents receive on-going, intensive case management during their stay.
Case Management: Our case managers work with residential and non-residential clients to help them develop action plans for safety, stability, and self-sufficiency. Case managers help clients identify and connect to community resources for health care, vocational and academic training, job placement, housing, and other critical needs. They also help clients navigate complex government bureaucracies to access public aid and other benefits.
Counseling: Our counselors use individual and family therapy, support groups, art therapy, conflict management, and communication training to help women and their children process and heal from the trauma of abuse. Counseling is provided to both residential and non-residential clients.
Legal Advocacy: Our legal advocates guide residential and non-residential clients through the US legal system. Advocates help clients access available legal remedies and help them obtain legal representation through an in-house legal clinic and partnerships with area legal aid agencies and volunteer attorneys.
Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Center: Our supervised visitation and safe exchange center provides safe place where children can interact with their non-custodial parent in the presence of a trained facilitator. The center also offers a safe location for parents to pick-up and drop-off their children when the courts determine that the non-custodial parent may have unsupervised visits
Education and Outreach: Our education and outreach program raises community awareness about the effects of domestic violence, behaviors that are considered to be domestic violence, and available resources to combat domestic violence. We also provide the state-required 40-hour certificate training for new domestic violence workers twice a year.
- Kalpana Simhan
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