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First Step: A Family Violence Intervention Center

F IRST S TEP Q UARTERLY UARTERLY F al l Iss ue: A u g u s t 2 0 0 5

Letter From the Director

Dear Friends of First Step, I can hardly believe that the summer is almost gone. Now we look forward to the promise of Autumn. And what a promise! As we have done every year for the last ten years, First Step will once again host the Soul Shine Blues Festival on September 24th. We anticipate yet another resounding success and a time of great music, food, and fun for the entire family. In addition to Soul Shine, the Fall also finds us reassessing our mission and vision as an agency. As you know, we at First Step always strive to remain pro-active in our efforts to provide the most relevant and effective services for our clients. And so we have assembled a talented group of individuals from the community to help us assess where we stand in regard to these matters, and to help us form new and better ways of providing for those who call on us. We covet your thoughts and prayers as we navigate this important process. And we thank you for your continued support. Have a blessed Fall and see you at Soul Shine,

Terri L. Mercer

Jimmy Burns returns to headline Soul Shine 2005

FIRST STEP

INITIATES STRATEGIC PLANNING

On July 25th a group of community leaders, friends, First Step board members and staff met to put together a strategic business plan for First Step’s future. The first item of business was to reassess First Step’s role in the community and determine

ways in which we could better serve its needs. Facilitated by Al Gorman, CEO of Fremont Memorial Hospital, the meeting found us revisiting or mission and vision to ensure that we were building a continuum of services that best met the needs of our clients and the

community in general. Also on the agenda was an assessment of our programming and its financial viability. It is no big secret that funding available for domestic violence has been steadily diminishing. As a result we have had to (continued on page 2)


F al l Iss ue: Au gus t 2005

CHANGING LIVES AND ENHANCING RELATIONSHIPS THROUGH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF NEED-FULFILLING PROPROGRAMS

FIRST STEP: A FAMILY VIOLENCE INTERVENTION CENTER

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SOUL SHINE (CONTINUED) - the Black Swamp Blues Competition in Bowling Green, OH (where they took home top honors). Opening up the day will be Slick Black Cadillac, veterans of the Soul Shine stage. In addition to great music this year First Step will also bring back the silent auction which was a huge success last year. Raffle items will include gift certificates to local stores and restaurants, a Harley-Davidson leather jacket donated by Thiel’s Wheels, and a “bluesmobile” donated by Graff Automall. And as if that were not enough, we also have all the southern style food you can eat; ribs, pork chops, red beans and rice,

gumbo, and BBQ chicken. So, we are certainly on pace to make this year’s festival the best in its ten year history. In the midst of all the commotion surrounding Soul Shine it is easy to overlook the most important thing. And that is that Soul Shine is a way for First Step to go out into the community and present opportunities to get involved in the work of family violence intervention and prevention. That is why it is so encouraging for us to see over 700 people come out for last year’s festival, and to have so many community organizations show their financial support for us and our work. It is our hope that as

Soul Shine gets bigger and better, so will our vision of eradicating the problem of family violence with the help of our friends in the community.

Soul Shine Blues Festival Saturday, September 24 Gates Open: 12:00 PM Meadowbrook Ballroom Bascom, OH Admission: $15 www.firststepweb.org

STRATEGIC PLANNING (CONTINUED) - make budget cuts which affect our programs and personnel. In being proactive against unforeseen financial crises we hope to provide a steady stream of care for our clients even in the midst of fluctuating funds. The process being used is the SWOT analysis in which organizations assess their Strengths, Weak-

nesses, Opportunities, and Threats. As one might imagine, there is no real “date of completion”, rather the process is ongoing and becomes a framework on which the entire organization bases its goals and decisions. So far we have been encouraged by our progress and by the support of the community part-

ners involved and we look forward to what great things the future may hold. We welcome your input and questions so please contact us at: firststep@firststepweb.org

ABOUT FIRST STEP 2005 marks the 25th year First Step has been serving the Wyandot, Wood, Sandusky and Seneca counties. We are the first shelter built from the ground up in Ohio and one of only four in the nation. Over the last few years, First Step has evolved from a shelter to a center that focuses on prevention as well as intervention.

For clients and families dealing with domestic violence, it offers a 24-hour crisis support phone line, legal advocacy (including filing Civil Protection Orders and accompanying clients to court), and temporary shelter residence for those in need. Our shelter has been a harbor in the storm for many families affected by domestic violence.

Contact Us First Step P O Box 1103 Fostoria, OH 44830 419-435-7300 firststep@firststepweb.org www.firststepweb.org


First Step Quarterly

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_XggXef _XggXef This is our column allowing you to share the triumphs of our clients over their circumstances through their letters to us, and to help you remember that we serve real people with real problems, and we help them find real solutions. Dear Staff of First Step, Let me begin by saying that if I knew about First Step three years ago I would have come here a long time ago. I remember contacting here months ago but didn’t go through with it. My abuser made it impossible then. Even though my family was ripped apart in the worst way, I know

FROM THE HEART

that it was meant to be and I could finally get my life in order. When my life was ripped from my heart and soul and my children, who I love and miss so dearly, and the internal pain was so horrible I came to realize that things, even bad things, happen for a reason. Your whole staff was so helpful in so many ways. It was [First Step] I depended on when family and friends turned their backs. I had to depend on kind-hearted strangers. I am so thankful to you all. It’s so good to know that there are such kind and compassionate people in the world. I write this letter to thank you for your help and

guidance and to thank all the people and agencies who donate to the shelter. Sincerely Yours, “Sue”

“It’s so good to know that there are such kind and compassionate people in the world.”

First Step Services 

Reality Therapy/ Choice Theory based program, PASSAGES group education about relationship violence, human behavior, personal growth, healthy relationships, problem solving, and parenting.



Positive Parenting



Father Mentoring



W.I.N.G.S. a women’s support group



M.O.V.E. a men’s support group



Individual counseling



OPERATION STARSHINE group education for children affected by relationship violence.

G ET INVO LVED WAYS

YOU CAN SUPPORT

FIRST STEP

Volunteer Opportunities We can always use more volunteers. If you are interested in helping in this capacity please specify which volunteer opportunity interests you by filling out the slip below and sending it back to us. Remember to give your current contact information so we can get in touch with you. ____ Yes! I am interested in volunteer opportunities with First Step.

____ Soul Shine ____ Maintenance

Name _____________ Phone_____________

____ Crisis Line ____ Other _________

Address ______________________________ Email ________________________________

DONATE TO FIRST STEP Your charitable gifts go a long way in helping us deliver valuable services to our clients. Consider making a donation today. Also consider making a donation to First Step in honor or recognition of a family member or friend. ..

____ Yes! I am interested in making a one time donation to First Step. ____ $25 ____ $50 ____ $75 ____ $ 100 ___ $150 ____ Other _____ ____ Yes! I am interested in making a monthly donation to First Step. ____ $25 ____ $50 ____ $75 ____ $ 100 ___ $150 ____ Other _____ In Honor/Recognition of: of ___________________

Donor Name: Name ___________________________

Event _____________ Phone___________ Phone

Phone________________ Phone

Address ____________________________ Email ______________________________

Address __________________________ Email _____________________________


First Step

“F I R S T S T E P N E E D S ” L I S T BATH TOWELS PAPER TOWELS TOILET PAPER PAPER NAPKINS SUGAR COFEE COFFEE FILTERS NONDAIRY COFFEE CREAMER FLOUR APPLE JUICE FRUIT PUNCH KOOL-AID MIX WOMENS SMALL SIZE CLOTHING (MEDIUM SHIRTS AND 4-6 MEDIUM PANTS) NEW WOMENS UNDERGARMENTS CARPET CLEANER LARGE SIZE SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER

TOOTHPASTE TOOTHBRUSHES HAIR BRUSHES ART SUPPLIES (FOR USE IN ART THERAPY SESSIONS) CASH DONATIONS (FOR EQUINE THERAPY PROGRAM CERTIFICATION)


First Step August 2005 Newsletter  

First Step August 2005 Newsletter

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