Sheltering Wings: Protecting women and children in Christ’s name
Sheltering Wings, a domestic violence shelter just west of Indianapolis, realizes that helping victims of abuse escape isn’t enough. Volunteers also help families build safe, stable, and independent lives in a supportive and Christ-centered environment.
“We do this for both adults and children,” says Cassie Martin, executive director. “Many times, people don’t think about the effects of domestic abuse on children, but whether they witness abuse or experience it firsthand, it leaves a lasting impression.”
In 2016, E91 Foundation granted $5,000 to Sheltering Wings for its operating budget, since government sources reduced funding. Grants from organizations like E91 Foundation are increasingly important to Sheltering Wings.
“Because of E91 Foundation’s support, we were able to help 89 youngsters last year.” Martin says. “Sheltering Wings is overwhelmed with gratitude for the support. We can’t do this alone and E91’s gift makes our investment in children possible.”
About that, Martin explains, “Children who have lived in a home where domestic violence occurs face a long list of fears and problems. We were able to help diminish their fears, walk them through safety planning, and connect them with educational and emotional tools needed. They often can’t do anything about where they live or who they live with, but with your help staff at Sheltering Wings equips children to prepare for frightening situations, connect with trusted adults and learn how to break the cycle of abuse for future generations.”
Since 2002, Sheltering Wings has been changing and saving the lives of women and children, helping more than 16,000 people since inception. Besides providing safe housing for victims of domestic violence, Sheltering Wings helps women prepare to return to safe, abuse-free lives.
“We’ve helped women receive high school equivalency diplomas, find jobs, save for a home, work through anger and grief, create a safety plan, learn how to create and maintain a budget, become more effective parents, secure transportation, learn about Christ, and find hope and healing,” says Martin. “We’ve been a listening ear, a guide in the midst of troubling times, a shoulder to cry on, a safe place to vent, and their biggest cheerleaders.”
Sheltering Wings was formed in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ. The purpose is to extend the love and compassion of Christ to women and their children in the desperate circumstances of domestic violence. Assistance is offered in the name of Christ to any victim of any background.
Stories from Sheltering Wings:
“When I grow up, I want to be a police officer. I want to help people who have been beaten and nail the bad guys who are committing crimes and being violent,” says a 13-year-old boy receiving support from Sheltering Wings. “My family is healing. I am less angry at my abusers, and my attitude is improving. I feel more safe and am a happier person since coming to live here.”
“Rachel” found herself at Sheltering Wings as a result of her mother calling the 24-hour crisis hotline. Rachel’s mother was at the end of her rope; she knew her daughter needed help and she had determined that Rachel could not live with her. The abusive relationship Rachel was in put everyone at risk, including herself and her children. So Rachel went to stay at Sheltering Wings. She arrived with a one-year-old daughter and was pregnant. She did not initially want to be there; she had addictions and was suicidal. However, through the Life Skills program, she was able to find employment. She learned about healthy relationships through support groups. She even saved up enough to move to a place of her own. She is now in school and is maintaining a 3.8 GPA. The future looks promising for Rachel.