INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 6, 2016) – The Julian Center, Coburn Place Safe Haven, and the Domestic Violence Network have pooled resources and expertise to develop a new program designed to empower survivors of domestic violence through education and enable them to restore their wellbeing and rebuild their lives.
Propel Indy includes services and training from a variety of community organizations and covers topics proven to assist survivors in their success, including financial literacy, employment and education readiness, using local resources, parenting, and boosting social networks and interpersonal skills.
“It is not enough to provide temporarily housing to survivors of domestic violence,” said Catherine O’Connor, president and CEO for The Julian Center. “We must empower survivors with tools, education, resources, and hope so they can restore their families and rebuild their lives.”
Propel Indy Overview
The Julian Center and Coburn Place clients who are working toward self-sufficiency and independence are eligible to participate in the program, which is based on a set of principles that research has found to be the most effective and addresses five areas of wellbeing: social connectedness, stability, safety, mastery, and access to resources.
“When someone has been abused, their confidence takes a hit,” said Julia Kathary, president and executive director, Coburn Place. “Propel Indy helps restore survivors’ social and emotional wellbeing so they can focus on what they need to do—to not only survive, but to thrive.”
Clients first complete a 16-week Getting Ahead empowerment course and then attend group classes twice a month over 18 months.
“While healing is a daily process, our research and experience shows that it takes great tenacity over many months for survivors to overcome the effects of abuse and achieve long-term success,” said Kelly McBride, executive director, Domestic Violence Network. “Propel Indy is specifically designed to help them do this.”
These eight organizations will provide training and other services for Propel Indy:
- Indianapolis Urban League – life skills classes, stipends, and transportation
- Ivy Tech Community College – enrollment support, including credit transfer, financial aid, and aptitude testing
- Indiana Institute for Working Families – education on poverty and Self-Sufficiency Calculator tool assistance
- John H. Boner Center – job training and preparedness
- Dress for Success – selecting attire for interviewing or employment
- Allegion – employment assistance
- Downtown Marriott – employment assistance
- Goodwill Industries – job training, life skills education
Children, Volunteers Involved Too
Meanwhile, participants’ children go through a similar program that covers healthy relationships, manners, emotional expression, anti-bullying, and positive body image. Six volunteers support the survivors as mentors and in creating positive social networks.
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- Julia Kathary, president and executive director, Coburn Place
- Kelly McBride, DVN executive director
- Catherine O’Connor, The Julian Center president and CEO