Advocates for domestic violence victims will use funding to improve infrastructure of shelters and transitional living facility to support victimized women and children
CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- A Safe Place, a nonprofit organization that assists victims of domestic violence in rebuilding their lives and mental and physical well-being, was awarded a $100,000 grant as the winner of this year’s Humana Communities Benefit program in Chicago, funded by health care company Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM). A Safe Place serves abuse victims in Cook, Lake and McHenry counties.
As the sole provider of services exclusively addressing domestic violence in Lake County, A Safe Place works to increase the immediate and long-term safety of victims and their children and prevent future abuse. Over its 31-year history, A Safe Place has evolved from counseling and emergency shelter services to providing crisis intervention and essential programs and resources including a 24-hour crisis line, on-site courthouse advocacy, prevention education and a transitional living facility. However, over time, the shelters, facilities and technology have become worn and outdated, which inhibits the organization’s effectiveness in helping victims and causes inefficiencies among staff.
“For women and children who have been beaten down physically and emotionally, it is crucial to their recovery to have a comfortable environment that reflects a positive attitude so that clients feel better about themselves and the program,” said Phyllis DeMott, executive director at A Safe Place. “We are so grateful for this grant from Humana, which will dramatically transform our facilities to benefit victims of domestic violence by allowing us to provide functional equipment, a clean, comfortable atmosphere and enhanced programs and resources vital to their long term well-being.”
Since opening its doors in 1980, A Safe Place has served more than 42,000 adults and children, placing significant strain on its physical and technological infrastructure. Its current emergency shelter lacks proper heating and cooling, and computers are outdated and frequently out of service. Additionally, much of the furniture used in the transitional living facility is old and needs to be replaced.
Thanks to the $100,000 grant from Humana Communities Benefit, technological improvements to A Safe Place’s crisis line, shelter program and counseling program will allow staff to work more efficiently and clients the ability to gain computer training, search for employment and create resumes. New furnishings and a working heating and cooling system will help to create a positive emotional and environmental impact for the approximately 45 victims who use the transitional living center and about 240 emergency shelter clients annually.
Humana associates selected three finalists from more than 130 applications for the ninth annual Humana Communities Benefit grant program in Chicago. Humana then worked with a panel of local judges comprised of community leaders, public officials and business representatives to select A Safe Place as the recipient of the grant, which was awarded at a celebratory gala on Oct.6, 2011, at the River East Art Center. The two other finalists, Midtown Educational Foundation and Women’s Health Foundation, also received donations of $7,500.
“The three finalists for the 2011 Humana Communities Benefit grant are incredible organizations and the impact of the work they do is immeasurable; we want to thank our community leader judges for helping with the difficult task of selecting just one $100,000 grant recipient,” said Dave Reynolds, president of Humana’s Illinois Commercial market and co-chair of the Humana Communities Benefit program in Chicago. “Humana is pleased that the grant funds will help A Safe Place enhance their means of providing support, shelter and advocacy to victims of domestic violence.”
The winner of the 2010 Humana Communities Benefit grant, America SCORES Chicago, has implemented a series of free educational and fitness programs to serve students during the intersession breaks of Chicago Public Schools’ year-round Track E school calendar, which includes soccer, creative writing and service learning, in addition to the afterschool and summer programs the organization already provides.
“The Humana Communities Benefit charitable initiative in Chicago has remained consistent over the past nine years in providing essential funding to Chicagoland organizations that work to keep our communities and residents healthy, despite shifts in the economy and a decrease in charitable giving,” said Deborah Gracey, president of Humana’s Medicare Great Lakes Region and co-chairwoman of the Humana Communities Benefit program in Chicago. “To date, we have been able to provide more than $1 million to outstanding local nonprofits, and we look forward to continuing this effort for years to come.”
About Humana Communities Benefit - Chicago
Humana Communities Benefit is designed to give local, nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organizations the opportunity to receive a one-time grant to create new programs or enhance ongoing activities. The Humana Communities Benefit program in Chicago supports nonprofit organizations located in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kankakee, Lake and McHenry counties that address one of three areas:
- Childhood health and education: Projects or initiatives that seek to improve health and academic achievement of children through the educational landscape
- Family wellness and active lifestyles: Projects or initiatives that strengthen the health of family through physical, social, mental, emotional, or environmental support
- Health literacy for diverse populations and seniors: Projects or initiatives dedicated to improving people’s ability to access, understand, and use health information, especially low-income populations, and seniors
The charitable grant program is celebrating its ninth anniversary in 2011, with a legacy of more than $1 million awarded since its inception. Along with its work in Chicago, which serves as the flagship for Humana Communities Benefit, the program also provides grant assistance in seven other areas: Arizona, Austin, Greater Cincinnati, Houston, Kansas City, Nashville and New Orleans.
Visit www.humana.com/HCB for more information.
Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is a leading health care company that offers a wide range of insurance products and health and wellness services that incorporate an integrated approach to lifelong well-being. By leveraging the strengths of its core businesses, Humana believes it can better explore opportunities for existing and emerging adjacencies in health care that can further enhance wellness opportunities for the millions of people across the nation with whom the company has relationships.
More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s web site at www.humana.com, including copies of:
- Annual reports to stockholders
- Securities and Exchange Commission filings
- Most recent investor conference presentations
- Quarterly earnings news releases
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Humana Corporate Communications
Lindsey Minella, 312-441-5549
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