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Dear Friend of AWARE, Inc.,

Since March 2020, our lives have changed in ways that we never imagined. To echo the words of our state and national leaders, we are living in unprecedented times. We as a country and in our own community are slowing down, self-isolating, and for some, losing our very livelihood due to the COVID- 19 pandemic.
Under Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order No. 2020-21:

  • Crisis shelters or similar institutions are exempt from the public accommodation closure orders
  • Workers and organizations that provide food, shelter, and other necessities of life for “needy individuals” are “critical infrastructure workers” and may travel to and from work
  • In-person work that is essential to sustain or protect human life also includes in-person work to
    prevent severe psychological harm
  • Emergency legal proceedings may still be conducted, and people can travel to and from those proceedings as ordered by a court

This means that AWARE, Inc. is still here. We are providing crisis support, counseling services, food, shelter, and safety for families.

Every day, our crisis workers are showing up to the shelter to ensure access to food, clothing, housing, safety and other necessities. We are helping children with homework and playtime to keep their focus away from the pandemic and the stress of having to leave home. We are answering crisis calls and discussing all available housing options and the risks associated with leaving or staying home.

The agency rapidly adapted our counseling services to replace in-person visits with conference calls or web-based services. Our counselors report that nearly half of their clients are experiencing an increase of violence at home, causing survivors to reach out for additional support outside of appointment times and on evenings and weekends.

Our legal advocacy team is responding to more requests for Personal Protection Orders — court orders to stop someone from threatening, hurting, harassing, or stalking another — these requests reflect escalating violence in the home. While our sexual assault advocates cannot meet survivors at emergency rooms during this time, they continue to receive daily calls from survivors of sexual assault. The sexual assault team is helping survivors by offering emotional support and care in navigating the systems that are not readily available or as easily accessible as before.

May 5, 2020 is Giving Tuesday. On this day, people around the world come together to support the causes that need it most in response to the current pandemic. Our goal at this time is to raise awareness on how the pandemic is impacting the lives of survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

We ask that you continue to support safety for survivors this May and beyond. No gift is too small. And your gift will help us keep our doors open, provide for client needs, cover alternative housing costs, food, transportation, unforeseen maintenance costs, or the added costs for remote services.

The anxiety that we are all facing daily as we anticipate getting back to normal is worsened by the looming threat of violence. Let us do our part to keep survivors safe.

Angelita Velasco Gunn
Executive Director

P.S. Please consider giving early this year or doubling your gift through an employer match! If you have already given, we thank you for your continued support of our mission and services.

The mission of AWARE, Inc. is to empower survivors by providing shelter and crisis services and collaborating with community partners. We are the only service provider in Jackson County that operates an emergency shelter; provides counseling and supportive services; legal, medical, housing and systems advocacy; and manages a 24-hour helpline for individuals who have experiences domestic violence or sexual assault. Founded in 1969, we have been part of the safety net for survivors and their families for over 45 years.

A donation to AWARE, Inc. ensures that the agency mission is achieved by supporting core services and operating expenses. Operating support is funding directed to the agency operations as a whole and allows us the flexibility to meet unforeseen expenses or pursue opportunities to meet the changing needs of the families we serve.

Make a Donation Online

Or Mail a Check to AWARE:

PO Box 1526
Jackson, MI 49204-1526