Last month I took these headshots of executives of Shelter House, a community-based, non-profit organization serving homeless families in Fairfax County, Virginia.
They were gearing up to participate in the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge, and even though it ends on October 25, I wanted to help spread the word and also share a little more about the Shelter House organization. Shelter House was formed in 1981, when several ecumenical groups came together to better serve Fairfax County’s low-income population. In 1985, Shelter House’s facility was moved to its current location in Falls Church. In 2007, Shelter House was awarded Fairfax County’s contract to operate the Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter in Fairfax. In 2010, Shelter House became the first non-profit to operate Artemis House, Fairfax County’s only 24 hour Domestic Violence Shelter.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and I want to share information with you that unfortunately has been or currently is a reality for 1 in 4 households in Fairfax County. 99% of victims of domestic violence experience financial/economic abuse and it is one of the tools of power and control wielded by an abuser. These are just a few examples of how this abuse occurs.For more information on the Purple Purse Challenge, https://www.crowdrise.com/shelterhouse-purplepurse2016.
I first heard about Shelter House when I went to a book reading by the author, Carene McCandless. Carene is the sister of the Chris McCandless, who was made infamous in John Krakauer’s book and Sean Penn’s movie, Into the Wild. Shelter House helped sponsor the reading and Carene spoke about the domestic abuse that she grew up dealing with and pointed out organizations like Shelter House that works to combat domestic violence and abuse. It really struck a chord with me that what looks like a happy, healthy family on the outside, could be something very different underneath.
If you would like more information on how you can help, here is the Shelter House website: http://www.shelterhouse.org/