- Posted by Anna Bard
- On March 27, 2020
- chicagoland nonprofit, COVID, COVID-19, Domestic Violence, WINGS
The pandemic is causing immense challenges to Chicagoland-based domestic violence organizations like WINGS.
What are they, and why do we need you?
As the impact of the COVID-19 virus expands, WINGS continues to serve our clients by providing resources and housing to people suffering from domestic violence.
Although it is hard to predict the lasting impact of this pandemic, WINGS services to our community are critically needed now more than ever.
This is an unprecedented time, and already WINGS is struggling under the weight of the impact of COVID-19 on our organization. Here are 4 ways that WINGS is being affected by COVID-19:
CLIENTS SAFETY AND WELLBEING
We are currently caring for about 200 people in safe spaces across the Chicagoland area, and their safety and wellbeing is of vital importance.
To ensure that they are able to socially distance, we have had to take several steps, including capping each residence at 30 people. Additionally, all counseling and case management is being done remotely rather than in person. We’ve also made the difficult decision to put our educational and support groups on hold.
As some of our residents are essential workers during this pandemic, we’ve chosen to move eleven families from one of our safe houses into hotel rooms to reduce their risk of exposure to the virus. This has added an additional cost to our operational budgets.
Prior to this health crisis, we relied on hundreds of volunteers in every area of the organization including important fundraising functions.
In light of COVID-19, we have had to put this volunteer program on hold. By losing these critical members of the WINGS team, the work that these individuals accomplish has suffered a loss as well.
PEOPLE TRAPPED AT HOME IN UNSAFE SITUATIONS
Despite the fact that its best practice for people to self-quarantine and social isolate, home is often not a safe place for domestic violence victims.
Financial uncertainty can increase tension in households. Many people face the stressful reality of an uncertain employment situation, whether they need to miss work as a result of illness or may lose their jobs due to COVID-19. Additionally, as people across Illinois have been asked to shelter in place, abusers may have increased access to their families.
Because of this, the services WINGS provides to the community are going to be needed now more than ever, just at the time when this pandemic is already stretching our resources thin.
FUNDING & SUPPLIES
As the wellbeing of our community is of utmost importance to us, we had already decided to cancel any fundraising events (including one of our biggest fundraisers on March 16) and to close our retail stores before the shelter in place order came through.
Unfortunately, that also means that we were not able to raise funds that are essential for our ability to provide shelter to our clients.
When we made the difficult decision to close our resale stores, we knew that we were sacrificing a significant portion of our revenue, between $45,000 and $55,000 per week.
The loss of resale and event revenue has left a huge hole in our operating income.
In addition to losing financial income, we have also experienced a reduction in donations of food, supplies and other in-kind donations that we rely upon to offset cash outlay for those necessary items.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Despite all these challenges, we’re keeping our chins up, and you should too, because our community of supporters is strong. People like you are flying to our rescue to help us weather this storm. Here’s how you can help victims of domestic violence in the Chicagoland area today:
By making a donation today, you will help to ensure that we can continue to provide vital services to some of the most vulnerable in our community. Your donation will mean that WINGS can continue to stand against domestic violence and keep the people who need us safe.
Right now, our donation drop-off spots are closed, but you can help by making a donation online. Our Amazon wish list includes the items that our shelters need to continue to care for our clients.
Thank you for believing in our mission to end domestic violence. Together, we will get through this challenging time and come out stronger and better able to serve our community.