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The mission of HOPE is to empower persons to live independent, non-violent lives through the provisions of Housing, Outreach, Prevention, and Education.
In the 1970s, Koralie Murad, a Charleston resident, made a decision. She was leaving her abusive partner. Soon after, she began to recognize the pervasiveness of domestic violence in families around her. Koralie became a friend to a number of women who were being abused by their own partners. Realizing that she could do more than be a friend to other women, she envisioned a safe home that could provide safety and shelter to women in danger. It was in 1978 when Koralie teamed up with Louise Jackson, an instructor in Eastern Illinois University’s Psychology Department. Having completed an independent study with Jackson on the need for a facility to protect abused women in Coles County, Koralie pushed forward with her project. In 1979, the Coles County Task Force Against Domestic Violence was formed and a year later, the group changed its name to Coalition Against Domestic Violence and became structured as a non-profit organization.
Funded by the Charleston Township, the CADV program was initially comprised of a two-bedroom apartment. Unfortunately, demand from more victims quickly dictated that the CADV grow their program. The shelter was subsequently moved to a four-bedroom house and, in 1985, the CADV’s Board of Directors acquired a permanent location.
HOPE strives to develop program that eliminate barriers victims face. This approach enables us to be flexible in meeting the needs of our clients. A major step in program development occurred in 1994 with the passage of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act. This law provided civil remedies to victims through an order of protection. The IDVA also established confidentiality provisions for victims and services for their children. As a result, HOPE began developing children’s programs including group and individual counseling. In 2004, we added a therapeutic summer recreation program for kids.
Another example of our flexible approach occurred in 2001 after observing the trend of homelessness amongst battered women. Homeless services in Coles County were overwhelmed with victims and their children. In April 2001, CADV was expanded to provide homeless shelter, transitional, and prevention services and took on the name HOPE—Housing, Outreach, Prevention, & Education.
The seven rural counties served by HOPE compose six percent of the landmass (acreage) of the state of Illinois. Our concern had always been that victims in the “outlying” counties did not have adequate access to services. In 1999, we established a satellite office in Paris Illinois to serve Edgar and Clark Counties.
Today, HOPE maintains two housing programs—the domestic violence emergency shelter and ten transitional housing through local apartments. The emergency shelter can house up to 24 women and children.
The mission of HOPE includes not only Housing, but also Outreach, Prevention, and Education. Toward this end, HOPE offers a host of programs aimed at decreasing violence in our community. These programs range from outreach educational efforts in the local schools to referrals and counseling designed to empower victims to lead self-sufficient, safe, and successful lives.
Though the location of HOPE’s shelter is kept confidential, anyone wanting services can visit the business office at 701 6th Street, Charleston. Located in the First Mid-Illinois Bank, the office is open 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. HOPE also maintains a 24-hour, 7 day a week, 365 day a year toll-free crisis hotline providing support, intervention, information, and referrals. 1-888-345-3990.
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24-hour crisis hotline: HOPE maintains a 24-hour, 7 day a week, 365 day a year toll-free crisis hotline providing support, intervention, information, and referrals. 1-888-345-3990.
Housing: HOPE maintains two housing programs. Domestic violence emergency shelter, and transitional housing. The DV shelter can house up to 24 clients, and there are five transitional housing units.
IDVA Advocacy- HOPE staff accompanies individuals to and from court appointments, explain the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, and assist clients with orders of protection.
Children’s Advocacy- HOPE provides children’s activities including individual and group counseling, educational recreation, and advocacy.
Community Advocacy- HOPE staff supports and accompanies clients to other community based social service agencies.
Counseling- Supportive counseling is offered in both individual and group settings for those affected by domestic violence.
Community Education- Provides information of family violence and homelessness to community organizations, clubs, and schools.
Transportation- Emergency transportation is provided to victims fleeing an abusive situation, to court hearings, and/or other community-based agencies.
Abuser Intervention Programs- HOPE works cooperatively and provides consultation to organizations providing intervention for men convicted of domestic battery.
Referrals- Connections to other community based services through means of speaking presentations, and crisis intervention.
Walk-in program- Support groups and services are provided for those not in need of emergency shelter.
Accessibility – HOPE facilities meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
HOPE of East Central Illinois serves Coles, Clark, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Moultrie, and Shelby counties. All services provided by HOPE of East Central Illinois are free and confidential.
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Annual Bowls of HOPE, February 23, 2016 from 5-7pm at Wesley United Methodist Church,
Come for some soup, dessert auction, and music, for tickets please call 217-348-5931 @ $5 for soup or $15 for soup and a hand crafted bowl by a local artist
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Board of Directors
Katherine Bass-EIU Professor
Kelly Hardy-Big Brother Big Sister
Jessi Duzan-Self employed
Laura Severson – Eastern Illinois Univeristy
Michelle petty – First Mid Illinois Bank
Dan Reible – Self Employed
Abbey Lowe –
Debbie Thoren –Charleston School District
Charles Mason –Office Manager
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Where are you located?
Our administrative office is located in Charleston. We do not disclose the location of the shelter due to safety issues.
What is the shelter like?
The shelter is very similar to any home. We have bedrooms, a kitchen, living room etc, toys, a TV, books, etc. We strive to make the shelter as comfortable and supportive as possible.
How do people find the shelter?
Many find the shelter through word of mouth, through family and friends who know the location. Others call our crisis-line, or are referred by law enforcement or other agencies.
How many people can stay at the shelter?
We can house 22-24 people, including children, at any given time. Sometimes we may have only a few; it’s often a fairly crowded place.
What do people do in the shelter?
The same things anyone else does in their homes, for the most part. Our shelter clients work, go to school, have appointments, watch TV, read books, play with their children. The difference for our clients is that of safety. HOPE staff spend time helping each client in forming a safety plan. This safety plan will include ideas on increasing safety while in shelter, when they are at work or other public places, important phone numbers, etc.
Can people leave the shelter to go to work?
We don’t lock anyone in the shelter. Clients are free to come and go as needed.
Who can stay in shelter?
Our shelter is open to any women (and their children) who are experiencing domestic violence. There are also some situations involving women and children experiencing homelessness
How long can they stay in shelter?
Generally 30 days.
Do abusers ever find the shelter or come there?
This does happen occasionally. When it does, staff call the police department for assistance.
Do you have security?
Our facilities have a state of the art security system. Combined with time tested safety protocols our shelter offers a safe environment for clients and their children.
Do you buy food for the women and children staying there?
We provide basic groceries for shelter. Clients cook their own meals on their own schedule.
Do you provide transportation or child care?
We can only provide limited/emergency transportation and child care.
Is there counseling available?
Counseling, both individual and group, is available to all HOPE clients.
What are some of the rules in shelter?
We like to call them “guidelines” and we try very hard to keep them to a minimum. Our shelter is designed to give women and children a safe, supportive place to go when needed and not to burden them with rules or control their lives. Some of the guidelines in place include prohibiting the use of alcohol/drugs, the use of non-violent language and behavior with all others (including children), and participation in daily chores.
Where do women and children go after shelter?
Some women may feel they have no choice but to return to their relationship. Many others obtain new housing in this, or other, communities. A number of clients have moved from shelter to our Transitional Housing Program.
What is Transitional Housing?
Transitional Housing is a program designed to assist domestic violence victims in reaching self-sufficiency. Clients can stay in the program for 12-24 months. During that time they work on issues like budgeting, education, job skills, and transportation. Clients also contribute to a savings account each month. At the end of their stay in the program this savings allows them to obtain permanent housing.
Where are the Transitional Housing properties located?
The actual locations are kept confidential. There are scattered sites throughout Coles County.
Are pets allowed in shelter?
Pets are generally not allowed in shelter or Transitional Housing. The only exceptions are certified service animals. HOPE advocates do have resources in the area and may be able to assist in making arrangements for pets if needed.
Can children go to school while in shelter?
HOPE believes that children should be in school. Moms in shelter have some options regarding their children's education. If it is better for the child to continue attending their previous school, there are state laws that can assist in providing transportation.
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