A few months ago, Emerge! began working with law enforcement to assess domestic violence victims to see who was most at risk of being hurt, or killed.
Ed Mercurio-Sakwa, CEO of Emerge!, says "we're serving double the amount of people in our over-flow program now, than we did several months ago."
The last thing a victim wants to worry about when escaping an abusive home is having a toothbrush, deodorant, or other basic necessities. Mercurio-Sakwa says having those basics leaves a long-lasting impact. "That deoderent is really what gives you the confidence to go into a job interview," he says.
Children may have to leave their homes in the middle of the school year and leave behind school supplies. Mercurio-Sakwa says, "the last thing that we want [kids] to have to worry about in the midst of having left their home, everything they know, being traumatized by the violence in their house, the last thing we want is for them to then worry about: do I have the pencils that I need? Do I have the crayons? The notebooks? All those basic things."
Mercurio-Sakwa says the community has been responsive to the needs of the center, but they still need a lot more donations. "As we have more people coming in, the supplies that we use to give to those families are flying off the shelves. So we end up with a shortage of what we need, as the next set of families comes in," he says.
If you'd like to donate, you can drop off any items at 2545 East Adams Street between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday - Friday.