- Posted by Sarah Swiston
- On August 23, 2023
- A New Direction, celebration of courage, Charity Navigator, Chicago, chicago metropolitan area, Chicago suburbs, children services, children survivors dv, COVID-19, Domestic Violence, domestic violence agency, domestic violence organization, DV agency, DV Hospital Program, dv survivors, End Domestic Violence, family services, Housing Programs, non-profit agencies, Philanthropy, WINGS, WINGS Program
This past year WINGS expanded the number of survivors served in Community Based Services and earned a total of five national Purple Ribbon Awards. Learn more about WINGS Fiscal Year 2023 in Review.
Increased Need for Domestic Violence Services
Since the pandemic, the need for domestic violence services continues to rise. In 2022, the statewide Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline received more than 37,000 contacts for assistance, making it the fourth consecutive year of record-breaking calls and representing a 50% increase in calls since 2019.
Despite the increased need, WINGS is committed to its mission to provide housing, integrated services, education, and advocacy to end domestic violence.
WINGS Safe Houses
Did you know in the city of Chicago there are only 97 dedicated domestic violence shelter beds? In 2022, survivors from Chicago made 12,838 calls to the Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline.
WINGS Safe Houses provide crucial shelter in areas where domestic violence services are in great need. WINGS Suburban Safe House is the only domestic violence shelter in northwest Cook County and WINGS Metro is one of only a handful of domestic violence shelters in the city of Chicago.
Open 24 hours, WINGS Safe Houses provide critical emergency shelter as well as resources for stability.
In FY2023, WINGS Safe Houses served 327 survivors including 205 children with 18,995 nights of shelter.
Of Safe House clients completing an exit survey:
- 96% reported feeling safe.
- 93% felt more knowledgeable of community resources.
- 83% felt more financially stable.
- 63% moved to more secure housing including homeownership, private housing, public housing, family/friends, or WINGS Transitional Housing program.
In FY2023, WINGS Housing Programs served 429 survivors, including 281 children, with 73,965 nights of housing.
WINGS has a large variety of housing programs including:
- Shared Living – Two to three families living in a residence at no cost for up to six months. WINGS operates three shared living homes in Palatine, Park Ridge and Schaumburg.
- Transitional Housing – Households stay in WINGS leased transitional apartments for up to two years. Clients pay 30% of their adjusted gross income to offset expenses.
- 88% of Transitional Housing clients reported moving to more stable housing when exiting the program.
- 77% of Transitional Housing clients reported increasing or maintaining their income upon exiting the program.
- Permanent Supportive Housing – WINGS has 8 long-term residences for survivors who have a documented disability.
- Neighborhood Stabilization Program – A low-income housing program where households pay for utilities and rent under market value levels.
- Rapid Rehousing – WINGS has 55 Rapid Rehousing units citywide and 45 units throughout the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago.
- 92% of Rapid Rehousing survivors completing an exit survey reported moving to more stable housing when exiting the program.
Celebration of Courage
This summer, WINGS held its annual Celebration of Courage through a virtual event. Fifteen graduates of WINGS Housing programs and their children were recognized.
Community Based Services
This year WINGS Community Based Services served 463 survivors, including 6 children, an 85% increase over last year.
This is due to WINGS serving more clients through the agency’s Hospital Program and adding A New Direction program in the Morgan Park/Beverly neighborhood of Chicago.
- Hospital Partnerships – WINGS staff educates healthcare professionals about domestic violence and offers bedside safety planning, counseling, and referrals to patients.
- FY2023 this program served 130 survivors (189% increase over FY2022) and trained 893 medical professionals and community members.
- ALAS (Advocating for Latinas Achieving Self-Sufficiency) – Volunteer mentors serve Latinx clients in a culturally competent manner and provide on-site collaborations with local health and human services, police departments and schools. FY2023 this program served 57 survivors.
- Project Lifeline – A community mentoring program for WINGS graduates.
- Survivor Lifeline – Survivor mentors are matched with survivors moving from domestic violence shelters into housing. Forming a connection to a mentor with shared experiences, clients are linked to resources, assisted with budgets to maintain housing and supported in their career aspirations.
- A New Direction – Community-based domestic violence counseling, legal advocacy, and referrals based in the Chicago neighborhoods of Beverly/Morgan Park.
Children and Family Services
WINGS Children and Family Services program is offered to youth throughout WINGS residential housing programs and provides a continuum of services to children recovering from the trauma of domestic violence. Over FY2023, WINGS served 492 children.
- 96% of guardians attending Parenting Groups reported learning new skills and 98% surveyed reported that they would use the information and skills that they learned.
- 81% of children were able to identify two actions to take to feel safe
- 81% of children reported they understood the violence that occurred in their family was not their fault.
- As a result of a designated grant, WINGS was able to offer transportation funds to families to address their children’s educational, physical, and emotional needs.
- One parent shared, “I received Lyft rides for the entire time my son was in the hospital. I was able to sit by his bed every day and hold his hand which I would not have been able to do without these funds.”
- Another mom shared, “I appreciate being able to go to the WIC Office to get support in feeding my baby.”
- This year, WINGS Children’s Advocates received training in EMDR. This effective approach assists individuals heal from mental and emotional distress as a result of a traumatic experience.
- One example of Children’s Advocates using this technique involves a child who had a traumatic experience.
- Ever since the incident, she had been having nightmares, was afraid to be alone including taking showers, and felt nervous about going to school.
- After four sessions of EMDR her WINGS Children’s Advocate; the child was showing signs of improvement including less nightmares, taking showers without fear, and was generally less anxious.
Over FY2023, WINGS received five national Purple Ribbon Awards from DomesticShelters.org:
- Outstanding New Service Launch – Survivor Lifeline
- Annual Report of the Year
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Rita Canning, WINGS Board Chair Emeritus
- Survivor of the Year – Sarah McClarey
- Outstanding Thrift Store of the Year – WINGS Resale
To be considered, agencies complete applications in specific categories. The judging panel consists of reviewers who work in or with domestic violence agencies.
While all organizations receive a medallion and certificate, exemplary organizations receive an accompanying grant. Out of 125 Purple Ribbon winners, this Fall WINGS was one of seven organizations selected to receive a grant for the Survivor Lifeline program.
Thank You to our Community of Supporters!
We could not achieve these outcomes, without our dedicated staff, financial supporters, volunteers, in-kind donors and more!
As we look toward the future, we are excited to announce the addition of the Foglia Family Resource Center, a state-of-the-art counseling center which will further expand our Community Based Services. More updates to come.
Interested in ways you can make a difference in a survivor’s journey to freedom?