The people who work and volunteer at Freedom House know what they are doing. 100% professional.
But it is more than that. They specialize in these 2 topics( Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violance) and it makes a huge difference in the service, I as a client received. Since I neede help in both topics I felt like they understood me. They knew where I was coming from. It's almost like they walked in my shoes before. So I learned to trust them after a while and it has changed my life. No it is not easy -far from it. But they were always there when I needed them. No matter what time of day I called. I was able to talk to someone when I needed to, when I felt like I can't do this anymore, when I had nightmares, etc.. They took my hand and guided me so I could make the right choices on my road to recovery. I was a client for a long time. And then one day I realized I have become a different person. A woman who is positive and assertive and that my life has completely changed.
I am SO GREATFUL to have found this place and I will be greatful for the rest of my days to the tremendous staff and their help and services I received.
And one other wonderful thing is that all the services are free. Absolutely free!
AND -- What is said within the walls of Freedom House STAYS at Freedom House!!
The purpose of Freedom House is one of practicality – to provide a place of safety, both physical and emotional. This purpose quickly transcends into an atmosphere of unity, of support, of Family. The staff genuinely cares about the welfare of each individual, and is willing to walk the extra mile to ensure maximum success in the journey forward. Freedom House is a refuge, a sanctuary, a place of Safety – and yet is so much more.
The first time that I entered the doors of Freedom House, I didn't know what to expect. What I found though surprised me. The smell of food cooking was the first thing that I noticed. Smiling faces, warm greetings, beautiful decor all soon filled my senses. As unassuming as the building looked from the outside, walking inside felt like I was walking into an actual house. It didn't take long for the reality of the work being done to set in, though and I was taken with the complete irony of the situation; a welcoming environment, the aroma of dinner finding its way from the back part of the building coupled with tears, bruises and the look of devastation in the eyes of a new client. How could the dream that so many women of having a lovely and safe house hold in it's hand the very contradiction of love and safety? This is a moment that forever changed me. Ultimately, what Freedom House is about is to offer a peaceful and safe place to land for victims of abuse. They will come bruised and scarred, physically and emotionally but they will be respected, valued, comforted and empowered. They will be enveloped into a sisterhood and make bonds that many times will not be broken. More than anything though, victims will become survivors in this house that is truly a home in the greatest sense of the word.
In many cases opening your eyes to sexual abuse and domestic violence, I regret, happens the hard way... experience. More importantly we can intervene at all levels by heightening the need for education, guidance and support to reduce this being the case. Our society has been slow in evolving to the reality that this can happen to anyone. More importantly we have taken baby steps in trying to make a difference. For anyone in Stark, Henry, Bureau, Marshall and Putnam counties there is a path to intervention as long as we are aware or strong enough to lead ourselves to the door. Make Freedom House known to everyone, especially those who are not talking about it.
Women come into Freedom House shelter battered and bruised from physical, mental and sexual abuse. They come sometimes with nothing but the clothes on their back. Some bring their children who are so scared that they hide behind their mother not trusting anyone. They come by train, walk ins, brought by friends and brought by police. They don't know who to turn to or who to trust or which way to go. That's where Freedom House comes into the picture. They help them to find their way so they can become a productive part of society. They do not want a hand out but a hand up. Freedom house gives them shelter, food and clothing. But that isn't all. They help them to realize that they can do whatever they set their mind to. They help them to dream and to accomplish those dreams. You see changes in only a few weeks. By this time the kids have been in therapy and the moms have been in therapy, have jobs or going back to school. When they fall Freedom House is there to pick them them up and there is always a shoulder to cry on.
The Freedom House agency offers victims of abuse a second chance. A chance to heal, learn, and become empowered while in a safe place. The agency and staff offer more of a hand up than a hand out. The transition in a new guest from when they first arrive to their leaving day is wondeerful to see. The most often battered and frightened people upon arrival are downtrodden and timid but as their trip thru Freedom House goes on from day to day you live with them thru their, ups and the downs, their laughter and the tears, and watch them change before your eyes, standing up taller and becoming more able and proud to succeed in life and to begin living again . I've seen the fruitation of the mission statement of Freedom House first hand. The providing of compassionate, safe shelter, counseling or therapy sessions, the information, education and referrals given to victims of domestic violence and their children, and the victims of sexual violence and their significant others. Last, but not least the educating of the public about domestic violence issues.
Freedom House has provided compassionate services for over 30 years to victims of domestic and sexual violence. Each staff member offers the utmost care and concern to help individuals and families heal from the trauma they have experienced. The staff are competent and dedicated professionals who treat all who enter the agency doors with respect. The people who have received services indicate that their lives have been transformed because of Freedom House.
Freedom House employees say they don't have a job, they have a calling. This attitude of giving and helping women, teens and children with domestic and sexual situations is why we are still going strong after 30 years. Our volunteers and donors are loyal and giving. At a time when society promotes violence and disrespect, our facility's occupancy and services are at an all time high. We serve a five county area in middle Illinois and we do this well because it's our calling.
For over 30 years, Freedom House has provided a safe place of shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children. A remarkable staff assists clients in court proceedings, job searching, schooling, and navigating the social service maze. Hundreds of "graduates" will testify that Freedom House changed their lives. I'm proud to be associated with FH.