By Elena Saviolakis, DOP
WASHINGTON, DC – The Daughters of Penelope (DOP), a leading international service organization comprised of women of Hellenic heritage and Philhellenes, kicked of the New Year by launching a national project series which will include weekly webinars on each of their national projects through February. The fifth webinar of the series was about Penelope’s Place, and live streamed on February 11 with Health Imperatives’ CEO & President Julie Kehoe and Health Imperatives’ Vice President of Development and Community Relations Jennifer Allison.
Penelope’s Place, a collaboration between the Daughters of Penelope and Health Imperatives (http://healthimperatives.org), is a 24/7 emergency residence in the City of Brockton, MA, for women and children fleeing domestic violence. Residents live at Penelope’s Place for an average of 90 days. During that time Penelope’s Place staff provides a safe place for healing from the trauma of domestic violence. Each resident is assigned to a primary staff person, who works with the resident and her family to develop goals to achieve self-sufficiency upon leaving Penelope’s Place. Services provided include counseling, housing, legal and medical advocacy, life skills, parenting skills, and job coaching. In addition, children receive services from a specialized child therapist. Penelope’s Place can accommodate up to five families at any time.
“Penelope’s Place is a respite from danger and a place of healing that shelters a growing number of domestic violence survivors and helps them create a better future. In FY20, the shelter served 67 survivors, an increase of 43% since FY18, and in the first half of FY21 we have already served 43 survivors. To better meet the complex needs of survivors, Penelope’s Place offers counseling, housing search assistance, cooking classes, recreational opportunities, wellness activities, and financial literacy coaching. An emergency assistance fund helps survivors cover necessities as they move out of the shelter into their own independent households, and a matching funds program assists them in building savings. We are so grateful to the Daughters of Penelope for making Penelope’s Place a welcoming and comfortable home for so many survivors. The shelter has become a true family that gives survivors hope, encouragement, and the resources they need to recover and thrive,” stated Health Imperatives’ CEO & President Kehoe.
Additional guest panelists on the webinar included Daughters of Penelope Grand President Celia Kachmarski, Daughters of Penelope Grand Secretary Georgette Boulegeris, Daughters of Penelope Grand Governor Kathy Matrakas, and Daughters of Penelope Executive Director Elena Saviolakis.
Grand President Kachmarski added, “I was fortunate to visit and tour Penelope’s Place before the pandemic and learn more about the life-saving programs and services offered to domestic violence survivors. We are proud to support Penelope’s Place and families with the resources they need to thrive, especially during this COVID era.”
The sixth webinar of the national project series will be about the Penelopean Day Care Center located in Athens, Greece, and will live stream on Thursday, February 18, with Daughters of Penelope Karyatides Chapter No. 271 President Veronica Tsalta. The center is a nursing and daycare center for children eight months to preschool-aged children of underprivileged families with low or no income.