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Saving lives with The HOPE Chest

What can you say about a place that reuses, recycles and resells, all to save lives? That’s my kind of place. Welcome to HOPE Family Services’ (HOPE) thrift store, the HOPE Chest. 
 
Survivors of domestic violence too often leave in the middle of the night with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Children don’t have time to grab anything, they are simply whisked away to a safe place. Both parents and children are overwhelmed and afraid and when they come to us and they need everything. Thanks to you and your generous donations over the years, we’ve been able to meet the need for these survivors while selling, (recycling if you will), your unwanted or no longer needed items. 
 
When survivors are leaving HOPE’s Safe Shelter and starting over, they often need household items, like sheets and towels, pots and pans, silverware, etc. Again, through the kindness of donors and the hard work of staff and volunteers, clients can access those items at no charge from the HOPE Chest.
 
People often wonder, if, in addition to giving survivors what they need, we sell things. We do indeed! The HOPE Chest generates income that ensures all of HOPE’s life-saving services are offered at no charge to survivors of domestic violence who need them. You should see the first Thursday of the month sales events when just about everything in the store is 50% off – the sales are legendary. You also have more time to shop, donate and volunteer on Thursdays with our extended hours until 6:00 pm.

You can visit the HOPE Chest Monday through Saturday from 9:00am-4:00pm at 1215 8th Ave. W, Bradenton, FL 34205. 

HOPE can only be successful by meeting the needs of survivors because of you. Please donate, shop and volunteer at the HOPE Chest, you’ll be glad you did!
 
On behalf of those whose lives you’ve saved, thank you.

Give the priceless gift of time

Help HOPE this holiday season by donating the priceless gift of time at our HOPE Chest Thrift Store. As we swing into “season”, we’re welcoming back out northerner pals and saying hello to friendly new faces throughout the community. The roads and restaurants aren't the only things getting busier though – the HOPE Chest Thrift Store is too!

The HOPE Chest Thrift Store helps support our mission of promoting safety, strength and well being for those affected by domestic violence throughout Manatee County. The thrift store sells a wide variety of amazing items for resale, like clothing, household items, furniture, and electronics. All proceeds from the store directly benefit the clients of HOPE Family Services.

If you’re interested in volunteering at the HOPE Chest Thrift Store, we’d love to hear from you! Please reach out to Dawn by calling 941-745-2034.

The HOPE Chest Thrift Store is located in downtown Bradenton at 1215 8th Ave. W, Bradenton, FL 34205. Hours of operation are 9:00am-4:00pm from Monday-Saturday.

The Danger Report: How to spot deadly red flags in a relationship

If you’ve seen the news recently, you’ve probably been struck by the deeply saddening headlines of domestic violence fatalities in Manatee County and neighboring communities. Our hearts and condolences go out to those affected by these tragedies.

Knowledge is powerful – and in this case, it could be life-saving. It’s important to be informed and aware in high-risk situations.  Author and Speaker Lundy Bancroft provides a powerful list of factors that should be taken seriously in identifying dangerous men.  

Abuse can come in many different forms, from both men and women, but the following risk factors for fatality are focused on the most common form of death as a result of domestic violence, perpetrated by a man to his, intimate female partner.

Risk Factors for Domestic Lethality

  • She is taking steps to end the relationship or has already done so.
  • He is depressed, suicidal, or shows signs of not caring what happens to him. He has, for example, threatened to kill himself if she leaves him.
  • He has killed or in other ways been violent to pets, or has used other terror tactics.
  • There are stepchildren or non-biological children involved.
  • He has access to weapons and/or he is familiar with their use.
  • He has threatened to kill her or to hurt her severely, has strangled her, or has threatened her with a weapon (including making verbal reference to using a weapon, even if he did not actually brandish it)
  • He was violence during her pregnancy.
  • He is unemployed.
  • The woman has a strong “gut” sense that the man could kill her or her children, or could carry out a serious and dangerous assault against any of them or against himself.
  • He is extremely jealous and possessive. This characteristic becomes even more worrisome when he appears to be obsessive, constantly keeping her at the center of his thoughts and appearing to be unable to conceive of life without her. He has, for example, made statements such as, “If I can’t have you, nobody will.”
  • He has a history of severe or very frequent violence toward her, or toward other individuals such as past partners.
  • He follows her, monitors her whereabouts, uses high-tech means to keep tabs on her, or stalks her in other ways. He knows where she lives and works, knows the names and addresses of her friend or relatives, or is in very familiar with her daily routines.
  • He has threatened to kill the children or the whole family.
  • He isn’t close to anyone, and no current relationships with friends or relatives are important to him.
  • He has a significant criminal history and/or he has a history of using violence or threatening violence against other people.
  • He abuses alcohol or drugs heavily, especially if his habits involve daily or nearly daily intoxication.
  • He has been violent to children.
  • He uses pornography heavily and/or has a history or perpetrating sexual violence or degradation against his partner or others.
  • He has exhibited extreme behaviors when his current partner or past partners have made attempts to leave him.

While these predictive factors of dangerous abusers are important to understand, there are documented instances where men didn’t exhibit these risk factors prior to killing. It’s important to trust your intuition and consult with a trained professional if you’re experiencing any kind of coercive control. HOPE offers qualified advocates to assess and build strategic safety plans for you to take control of your life. We’ve created a safety plan and encourage you to check it out.

Finding HOPE

If you, or someone you know, has experienced ANY of these behaviors or ANY signs of abuse from an intimate partner, please reach out to us to keep you–and your children–safe. Our services are completely free and confidential–designed to bring you empowerment and HOPE.

Whether you need to talk, need counseling for you or your children, need to escape to our Emergency Safe Shelter; we’re only a phone call away and ready to serve you and anyone affected by domestic violence in Manatee County.

More than a shelter… A place for HOPE

At HOPE Family Services, we’re dedicated to providing services and empowering survivors of domestic violence (DV) by helping them stay safe, gain strength, and evaluate their options throughout Manatee County.

While we provide an Emergency Safe Shelter in the Bradenton area for those looking for safety, we have plenty of resources available for those dealing with other types of difficult situations.

 

Advocacy

Our advocacy services are designed to assist clients in identifying and overcoming barriers in their life.

The advocacy department addresses emergency issues such as financial concerns and housing, food and clothing needs. There’s also viable information regarding information and referrals to other incredible organizations that can be of assistance.

Advocates also assist participants with job training opportunities and issues surrounding economic justice.

 

Preventative measures

HOPE Family Services also offers a Primary Prevention Program that is designed to teach young people the signs of an abusive partner early on, with the ultimate goal of preventing them from becoming victims or perpetrators of intimate partner violence.

If you’re planning an event, whether school or business related, we can provide you speakers and trainers to spark Social Change. Social Change allows youth, professionals, and paraprofessionals to learn how to prevent conditions that allow batterer’s controlling behavior as we work to hold community members accountable and bring peace & an abuse-free society.

 

Counseling and more

Each week, we host individual counseling sessions and support groups for survivors of DV in English and Spanish. Domestic violence has a substantial impact on the family and we’re here to help address those issues.

We also offer supportive individual and group counseling to children affected by domestic violence. The goal is to teach children who are dealing with trauma, non-violent coping mechanisms in an effort to break the intergenerational nature of domestic violence.

 

Full-time access

If you are in need of a friendly voice to talk to, we are here for you. We offer a free and confidential Help Line that is open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Start the conversation by calling 941-755-6805 (V/TTY). A friendly, non-judgemental and informed person will be waiting on the other line, right here in Manatee County.

We also provide a safe place in a confidential location for victims of domestic violence to evaluate their options. The shelter is designed to allow those who need it time in a safe place to make choices that empower them to live a life safe from the controlling tactics of an abusive partner and to organize opportunities in the best interest of themselves and their children.

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