The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has awarded a $90,000 grant to YWCA New Britain over the next three years to support our Sexual Assault Crisis Service’s (SACS) volunteer program. YWCA’s SACS program serves 46 towns in our state 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. The grant will support our volunteer recruitment and training efforts with new partnerships, helping us to meet our goal of growing and diversifying our volunteer pool to better reflect the communities we serve.
Originally serving 8 towns in the greater New Britain area, the program has grown to now cover 25% of the towns in the Connecticut. Last year, SACS served more victims than ever in the history of the program, which unfortunately indicates these services are still in high demand, and additional coverage is greatly needed.
Volunteer Coordinator Liz Halla-Mattingly says, “Volunteers are such an important component to our program. They are on call nights and weekends, and do this work on top of all their other commitments. Not only do they ensure that we have sufficient coverage to answer all the calls we receive, they are often the first contact that clients have with SACS, whether it is over the phone when someone calls the hotline or in person when someone seeks treatment in the emergency room - so they are providing survivors with a valuable service and support in a dark moment.”
YWCA’s Counselor Advocate Training is a 48-hour training program leading to certification as a volunteer sexual assault crisis counselor. Volunteers who take the classes gain the valuable training and experience needed to provide supportive counseling and advocacy to sexual assault survivors and their families through hotline calls and police and hospital accompaniments.
Caitlin Reese, SACS Director states, “SACS' volunteer program is continuing to grow and make important advances in the way we serve sexual assault survivors thanks to the generous support of the Hartford Foundation. We are very fortunate to have their partnership in supporting our shared community.”
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for Hartford and 28 surrounding communities. In 2015, the Foundation celebrated 90 years of grantmaking in the Greater Hartford region, made possible by the gifts of generous individuals, families, and organizations. It has awarded grants of more than $620 million since its founding in 1925.
If you are interested in CAT class or becoming a SACS volunteer, please visit our website.