The Second Step (TSS) is part of a network of domestic violence agencies in the greater Boston area that provide hot lines, emergency shelter, scattered site transitional housing, and supportive services.
What makes The Second Step unique is its understanding that it takes time for a family to heal emotionally and physically from abuse, and to rebuild their lives. As a result, families may stay in TSS’s transitional housing for up to two years. There, school-age children attend TSS’s Therapeutic Afterschool -- the only one of its kind that we know of statewide. And families may choose to remain part of TSS’s Community Program, for those who do not live in TSS residences, for as long as they need.
The most important aspect of the services TSS provides is that they are guided by the survivor herself, focusing on her own priorities, and moving at her own pace. TSS staff helps her set goals for herself and for her children, and meet regularly with her to make sure she has access to resources and programs at The Second Step or through other collaborators in the community to achieve the goals she set. Goals are set in the areas of safety, empowerment, financial and housing stability, physical and emotional well being, and social connectedness. Much research has been conducted to ascertain that these five areas represent the psycho-educational and social environment necessary for long term independence. Everything The Second Step does revolves around these areas.
In response to the extended recession, and adjusting to the new normal funding levels, The Second Step has taken an aggressive stance in trying to link small organizations in the domestic violence arena as well as the non-profits who comprise the community based supports our families depend on to leverage funds and services, to share back office staff functions, and to do everything we can to insure that the essential services we offer will be there in the future.