Safety for survivors of domestic abuse can mean the difference between life and death. Over the past decade, Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse has made lasting impacts as Southern Arizona’s largest provider of domestic abuse prevention services.
Emerge started in April 2008 when Brewster Center Domestic Violence Services, which began offering domestic violence services in 1982, and Tucson Centers for Women and Children, established in 1975, came together. Emerge served nearly 5,800 participants and answered 5,700 calls to its 24-hour hotline last fiscal year. Emerge also provided 18,216 safe nights at its shelter or hotels and helped 49 families transition into new homes.
In 2015, there were 107 domestic violence fatalities in Arizona, including 25 in Pima County. In the past two years, Emerge has seen a 31 percent increase in participants requiring domestic abuse services.
“We assume, and hope, that some of it is due to our outreach efforts,” Emerge Director of Development Lauryn Bianco said.
While Tucson-area non-profits often work together to help the community, the need for services can seem overwhelming.
“Even with the strength of the nonprofit network, resources are limited – and therein lies the difficulty,” Lauryn said. “The need in our community far outweighs the resources available and we rely heavily on the spirit of foundations like Sundt and individual donors to continue investing in our work to ensure that people who need domestic abuse services can have access to them.”
While 69 percent of Emerge’s budget comes from government grants, those dollars are often earmarked for specific purposes. Unrestricted dollars, including those from individuals and foundations, allow the organization to be flexible and quick in responding to immediate issues in the community. The Sundt Foundation gave a $1,500 grant to Emerge in 2016.
“The funding we receive allows Emerge to provide all of the other necessary services in Pima County that most government grants do not support, like our men’s education programming and prevention services,” Lauryn said.
This is the fourth in a series of stories about non-profit organizations that were supported by the Sundt Foundation in 2016. The articles will appear on our blog on Tuesdays through May 23.
April 11: Project Healing Waters
April 18: Restore Education
April 25: Reynolds Home