Agency Spotlight: AVDA
Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse (AVDA) has been a Town of Palm Beach United Way agency since 2001. AVDA’s domestic violence center offers an array of services for victims of domestic violence such as a 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency and transitional housing, advocacy, counseling, and support to help victims live violence-free and independent lives. They also work in the community to educate and engage people of all ages in their commitment to prevent domestic abuse.
The Town of Palm Beach United Way funds AVDA’s Extended Shelter program. The focus of the Extended Shelter program is to provide safe housing, food, and comprehensive support services to victims of domestic abuse who have extenuating circumstances that require an extended length of stay beyond the six weeks in AVDA’s emergency shelter.
How AVDA Makes a Difference
The following letter was received by a participant who we will call “Jane.” “My son and I entered AVDA on July 1, 2015; I was scared, hurt, embarrassed, and unsure of what my next step was. We have never been in a shelter and for some reason I never thought shelter life would be anything like this. The B=building was so nice and clean, the kitchen was equipped with 2 stoves and everything that you would have at home in your own kitchen and each room has its own fridge and freezer. The staff was so friendly. Our first night I was a complete wreck and the staff provided us with food, blankets, pillows, towels, slippers, and toiletries. The Building is well lit, secure and secluded as well as equipped with cameras. I was assigned an advocate that I was to meet with once a week to go over my plans on becoming independent. I was provided resources to assist me in achieving my set goals. The staff even took me to court and stayed by my side the entire time to face my abuser and was the calming voice when I saw him and started to freak out, she simply said ‘you’re fine, and it is okay.’ The Groups provided helped me to identify the unhealthy things in my relationship that I thought was normal. I was very impressed with all the groups: yoga, Zumba, building healthy relationships, conflict resolution, and healthy meal planning, just to name a few. I hate that we had to come into a shelter, however, I’m happy that AVDA (and all its luxuries) was the one we came to.”
How You Can Help