Peace at Home Family Shelter leaders lauded two longtime volunteers and board members, KC Tucker and Sandy Sprouse, during their livestreamed Courage Awards event Feb. 5. Each has been involved for about a decade. The group gives the award "to honor individuals or groups who have shown fortitude, strength and dedication to empowering domestic violence survivors and their families."
Julianna Munden said regarding Tucker, a fellow board member, "not only do you exude courage, you promote it in others. "
Upon accepting the award, Tucker said she began volunteering with the shelter in law school. "I quickly learned how mission-centered, -focused and -driven they are -- everyone who works there has the goal of empowering victims of domestic violence." The shelter "makes it so our community is safer for everyone -- not just for survivors, but for our neighborhoods and community. We all benefit when folks are safe in their own home."
Sprouse said the staff and clients at Peace at Home are the courageous ones. "Every day we're working with those that have been living nightmares and see the courage it takes to leave there and come to the shelter."
Elaine Jackson, outreach and housing advocate, told backers about the group's Home Restored program that helps with costs such as deposits, first month's rent and utility signup. "Seeing them living in a house they can say is theirs, that is safe, that is peaceful, is truly inspiring ... When you help support Peace at Home, it's not just financial support; it's helping survivors start new lives."
Eva Terry, Peace at Home development director, says: "In 2020, Peace at Home provided:
• Safe shelter to 199 people escaping domestic violence -- 109 adults and 90 children.
• Housing assistance for 95 families to move into new, safe homes and 53 families to maintain their housing (providing almost $230,000 in direct housing assistance alone).
• Legal services to 358 families, including divorce and child custody representation and assistance obtaining orders of protection.
• Professional counseling services to 65 survivors of domestic violence trying to recover from the abuse they experienced.
• A listening ear and assistance to the 1,074 crisis calls through the hotline.
"In total, Peace at Home provided confidential and free support to help over 1,000 neighbors in our community flee domestic violence."
Jane Hunt Meade, longtime shelter supporter, gave a challenge gift of $25,000 during the streamed program. Jane Henderson, development coordinator, said Wednesday: "We are just shy of $2,000 from that goal. However, we have extended our match event, so we expect that by the end of the week, the Courage Awards and the challenge gift will have helped us raise $50,000 to support survivors of domestic violence through our programs."
Founded in 1977, Peace at Home Family Shelter was the first program in Arkansas to provide safe shelter for abused women and their children. Each year, the safe emergency shelter, crisis hotline, housing assistance, counseling and legal services empower hundreds of families to leave abuse and establish non-violent homes.
For more event photos -- nwadg.com/photos/society.
Columnist Carin Schoppmeyer can be reached by email at [email protected]
At a Glance
Who: Peace at Home Family Shelter
What: Peace at Home supporters gathered online to honor KC Tucker and Sandy Sprouse, this year’s Courage Award recipients.
When: Feb. 5
Information: (479) 444-8310 or peaceathomeshelter.org
Get help: 24-hour Crisis Lines — (479) 442-9811 (local); (877) 442-9811 (toll free)