Each year, the Oregon chapter of Volunteers of America (VOA) hosts an event to highlight the efforts of its domestic violence intervention program, Home Free. Held at the Hilton a few weeks ago, like last year I was honored to be seated at the table of Kay Toran, President and CEO of VOA. I also sat next to Multnomah County Commissioner Deborah Kafoury who is always great to spend time with.
Home Free is dedicated to providing long-term, post-crisis support designed to prevent survivors of domestic violence from having to return to an abusive home. This program provides its services free-of-charge on a flexible and individualized basis. Both emergency services and transitional services are available through Home Free, as are specialized programs for teens, children, and families.
According to statistics on VOA's website, 1 in 7 women in Multnomah County between the ages of 18 to 64 are physically abused by their intimate partner each year; domestic violence accounts for nearly half of all violent crime in Portland. Domestic violence is non-discriminatory - it affects people of every age, gender, race, income level, and sexual orientation. The importance of Home Free's services is clear.
Pictured below, after the event, are Ellen Lubrano (left) from Rose Haven, another great non-profit assisting women who live outside (many fleeing domestic violence), and Director of Home Free, Kris Billhardt.