With increased need, Allegan domestic violence shelter gets grant

Allegan County

ALLEGAN, Mich. (WOOD) — Allegan County’s only domestic violence safe house is getting financial assistance from a nationwide campaign.

Sylvia’s Place received a $4,500 grant thanks to a partnership between the Allstate Foundation and the National Network to End Domestic Violence. 

The added funding is essential right now. Like other law enforcement agencies, the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office has seen a 22% increase in domestic violence calls during the stay-at-home order compared to this time last year, according to Sheriff Frank Baker. 

“As a small domestic violence agency, having these dollars when we really needed them at this time was so important to us,” Sylvia’s Place Board President Christina Stegink told News 8. “Anytime there’s an increase in stress at the household, that can increase the domestic violence that’s occurring, so right now it’s a really important time to be able to provide services.”

Sylvia’a Place, a domestic violence shelter in Allegan County. (May 27, 2020)

The shelter spent the grant on continuing to staff its 24/7 crisis hotline, as well as five new laptops to facilitate virtual services and support for clients. 

“Also those clients are able to use those laptops in order to do things like access social services or file a personal protection order, search for housing search, for jobs, so those will be valuable to us for a long time to come,” Stegink added. 

In total through the partnership with NNEDV, the Allstate Foundation donated $500,000 through 100 emergency grants to shelters around the country.

“We really tried to identify the smaller domestic violence shelters that are probably being overlooked by other additional funding,” Allstate Foundation spokesperson Trinity Slabbekoorn told News 8. “They don’t have the resources they normally do. They’re not getting those donations, they’re not having volunteers come in.”

If you need help, you can reach Sylvia’s Place through its 24-hour crisis hotline at 269.673.8700.

Updates about the shelter can also be found on Facebook.

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