To keep our donors better informed of how their donations to the United Way are being utilized, we will be sharing quarterly updates with achievements, facts & figures, and client stories for each of the six impact sectors we fund. Our First Quarter ran from July 2019 to September 2019 and the second Impact Sector area we will cover is our Emergency Services Sector. 

Programs in the Emergency Services Impact Sector help families and individuals who are going through a crisis. That crisis could be needing shelter for a night, getting back on their feet after experiencing a home fire, or leaving a domestic violence situation. Below are some of the great things the agencies and programs did with your donations for Emergency Service needs in the First Quarter. 

Emergency Services Achievements and Statistics
  • 36 individuals that had experienced disaster situations (mostly home fires) were provided with financial assistance for food, clothing, comfort kits, medication, and other essentials by the American Red Cross. 
  • During Hurricane Dorian, the American Red Cross opened 2 shelters in Florence County that provided shelter, meals, and supplies to 57 individuals.
  • The Pee Dee Coalition's Community Victim Services program has partnered with several new businesses and agencies to increase awareness and education about domestic violence and trauma and has implemented new support groups for adolescent-aged victims.
  • The Pee Dee Coalition's Community Victim Services has also partnered with the Florence Police Department Victims' Advocate Team and the Francis Marion University Sexual Assault Student Organization to be able to provide services to victims who may not have reported their abuse. These organizations will also receive training to start a local Girl's Circle Group in Florence. 
  • The Pee Dee Coalition's Emergency Safe Shelter has housed 33 women and children during the first quarter. The shelter is in a secure location with security cameras and 24/7 staff available for assistance. More than 85% of those clients have received trauma-focused counseling and 100% have completed a safety plan for them to follow once they leave the shelter.
  • 471 individuals received a night stay and/or a meal at the Salvation Army's Emergency Homeless Shelter.

Client Stories
In August 2019, staff responded to a hospital call from McLeod Medical Center. Upon arrival, staff met a female who was 5 months pregnant with twins. She shared that her boyfriend became upset and threw her over the bed onto the floor and began hitting her in the head. She was able to escape to her neighbor's house and they called the ambulance and police. She shared that she was alone and isolated in South Carolina and had nowhere to go because her family lives in Pennsylvania. Staff arranged for her to be admitted to the Pee Dee Coalition's Emergency Shelter when she released from the hospital. The Emergency Shelter provided her with clothes and personal items that she needed, and she also received counseling from the Trauma Counselor. The agency was able to help her secure a bus ticket to Pennsylvania and she is now safe and living with her family. 

A 37 year old female contacted the Pee Dee Coalition's crisis hotline. She was in danger and afraid to return to her apartment because she was fearful that her abuser would harm her and her five children. The client stated that she had called everywhere possible to find somewhere safe for her and her kids to stay, but she was unable to find a place that could accommodate her family. Exhausted and frustrated, the client contacted the PDC hotline and PDC staff made arrangements and adjustments to bring the family of six to the Emergency Shelter. Once the family reached the shelter, the client and her children described the details of how the abuser would hit the client/their mother. The staff was able to provide counseling for the client and her children, as well as financial assistance to help with the family's transportation and referrals to find new housing. 

A husband and wife were both laid off from the same company. They went to the Salvation Army Emergency Homeless Shelter after they were evicted from their home due to failure to pay rent. They had exhausted all their remaining money on hotels and had nowhere else to go. This was the first time in their lives that they had found themselves homeless. They were so overwhelmed with emotion and humility upon their arrival. They were grateful for a safe place to sleep and food in their bellies while they figured out what their next steps would be.

Check back next Wednesday (Dec. 11th) for the Quarterly Report on our Financial Stability Sector.