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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Crime & Law, Domestic Violence, Family Violence Shelters, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Shelters, Spouse Abuse Prevention

Mission: ALL PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO SAFETY AND DIGNITY IN RELATIONSHIPS. WE ARE DEDICATED TO ADULT AND CHILD SURVIVORS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. RESPONDING TO EACH FAMILY'S STRENGTHS AND VALUES, WE PARTNER TO ENHANCE SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY AND IDENTIFY PATHWAYS TO PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALING, HOUSING AND FINANCIAL SECURITY. WE WORK AT THE INDIVIDUAL, COMMUNITY AND SOCIETAL LEVELS TO END DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

Programs: Residential program - provides communal housing and supportive services for up to two years for domestic violence survivors and their children who are homeless after fleeing abuse. Staff-intensive case management services include personal and professional skills development, psycho-educational group meetings, family nurturing and stabilization, housing search assistance and advocacy, financial and health literacy education, referrals to medical and mental health practitioners, support in the transition to living in the community.

community program - serves survivors of domestic violence living in the community and at all points across the continuum of recovery, from those still living with abuse to those coping with the aftermath of intimate partner violence. Services include safety planning, mentoring and peer support, individual advocacy, links to community services, child and family services, emergency financial resources, life and parenting skills development, including financial and health literacy education and referrals for education and job training. In addition, services include a legal advocacy assistance program that provides survivors of domestic violence with consultation with in-house staff to identify and address legal issues such as immigration, custody, landlord-tenant, etc. ; court accompaniment and preparation for legal proceedings; assistance with legal and government documents; referral to attorneys and legal aid groups.

children services - for children who have experienced domestic violence include advocacy and referrals to day care, school, vacation and summer camps, and to medical, dental, mental health, or legal professionals; referrals and emergency financial assistance to meet basic needs, including food, clothing, and school supplies; parenting support; staffed play space for children while their parents are in on-site meetings. Children's services also include a therapeutic after-school program for elementary school-aged children in residence, providing emotional support and personal skills development along with math and language arts enrichment to bring children with academic delays up to grade level.

outreach and education - services and programs include educational workshops and presentations for the wider community (including teens and college students) about healthy relationships, warning signs, and how to help victims of domestic violence. The second step mobilizes hundreds of volunteers from the community to participate in our work throughout the year. This ranges from volunteers who help at our back-to-school and our holiday gift drives, in our therapeutic after-school program, at our front desk, mentoring and helping in our community programs, cooking meals for our clients, and countless other ways. In addition, we engage the community in dozens of school drives, bar and bat mitzvah projects, and other events throughout the year. In total, over $250,000 a year is donated to the second step in in-kind donations. In addition, we estimate conservatively that over 3,500 volunteer hours are donated to the second step,representing a value of at least $150,000 in donated volunteer time.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for The Second Step for three years, first working at the front desk in the office, later helping out with events, and now as a board member. The time I spent at the front desk is what cemented for me just how important The Second Step's mission is. There was nothing like being on the receiving end of phone calls from women clearly scared, and unsure where to turn. I was always so grateful to be able to connect them with one of The Second Step counselors. Once that connection was made, I knew the women were in good hands and, whether they realized it at that moment or not, had taken an important step toward a safe and rewarding new life.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have multiple forms of relationship with The Second Step - as a volunteer, as a Board member, and as the Academic VP at Lasell College, which works extensively with The Second Step through student projects (the partnership recently won the Massachusetts Campus Compact's annual award for best community partnership).

As a volunteer with my daughters, I have seen first hand the wonderful work this organization does with women and their children, providing them the tools to be confident and self-reliant following the terrible things they have experienced. It has been particularly valuable for me to see my daughters interacting with the children, seeing first hand what human beings can go through and how they can emerge even stronger as a consequence.

As a Board member, I have seen how passionate staff, clients, and the outside community are about the excellence and successes of TSS. It has been a joy to be involved with this great organization at this level - an organization that is always looking forward, not only with respect to the work it does with its clients, but also for the impact it can have on the larger social problem of domestic violence.

The ten-year TSS-Lasell College partnership includes: teaching of Lasell courses by TSS staff, including an honors seminar team-taught between the Director of Community Programs and myself; a long-term co-created children’s IMAGINE mentoring program in which Lasell students monthly mentor TSS children at Lasell; Lasell courses embedded with service-learning projects such as donation drives, special events fundraisers, and development of public relations materials to benefit TSS; Lasell student internships at TSS; and participation by TSS staff on the Lasell Justice Studies Advisory Board.