From the Director
I am pretty excited for this year we are in! It’s our 40th Anniversary of the Diane Peppler Resource Center! There are some pretty exciting things planned for this year, such as our 40th Anniversary Gala on September 21st. It will be 18 months in the making. Be looking for tickets to go on sale at the Kewadin Box Office here in the Sault. Mark your calendar and we hope to see you there.
So how did we make it for 40 years in this business? How did we even get started? Who is responsible for making this agency’s philosophy and mission a success? I can tell you the list is long. The people, like Liz Foley and Diane Peppler, who had the vision and the tenacity to not give up on being able to provide safety for the victims of domestic violence were the ring leaders. Doreen Howson and Kathy Smithers put in the blood, sweat, and tears for 3 decades of service! The funders through the now known Division of Victim Services (formerly Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board-MDSVPTB) have been immeasurably supportive in engaging our agency and offering the guidelines for successful management of programs. Without all of these pioneers, we would not be here today.
In 1994, Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act and along with it came the necessary long term funding streams that are still available today. It has mainly passed on its own merit as it comes up for renewal. This past year, 2018, the Violence Against Women Act is sitting dormant due to the government shut down. It expired on December 31, 2018. We are anxiously awaiting an end to the federal government shutdown to see what the next course of action is.
These amazing women championed the cause that many were hiding away in secret, not thinking that anyone cared about their fear, their abuse, their terror, their children… But someone did care. In the 1980s, funding was made available through a law enforcement grant. This funding is what allowed us the opportunity to open a home that supported homeless survivors of domestic violence. We couldn’t be where we are today without their involvement.
Through it all, we remain steadfast in our belief of victims, in our support of their pain, and in always following our motto, “Our Door is always Open!” We may need some help in doing just that. In the meantime, we will keep helping these clients, one day at a time, for the next 40+ years…