Domestic violence is a pervasive problem in any community, threatening women, children and families and leaving long-term emotional scars.
Thankfully, it is an issue that is taken seriously in McHenry County by law enforcement and, of course, by domestic violence advocates. While criminal matters must be appropriately addressed, there are other urgent matters that also need attention.
The first matter is getting the victim out of the domestic violence situation, which can be complex. Some victims don’t have the financial means to leave their homes and leave an abusive partner where the cycle continues.
Turning Point of McHenry County has been offering a solution to victims in crisis by providing an emergency shelter for women and children at its Woodstock facility since 2007. During that time, the shelter has served 372 women and 347 children.
The cost of running that shelter is about $300,000 per year. The state of Illinois is notoriously late in payments to anyone, including those providing social services, which has forced Turning Point officials to turn to their reserve funds to keep the shelter running.
Fortunately, McHenry County often has counted on people such as Vince Foglia and Mike and Judy Luecht, who have pledged $400,000 toward the Cecelia Fund, named for the first woman to use the shelter, with the hopes of raising $1 million.
The money would fund the emergency shelter for the next three years. Continuing to provide that resource for McHenry County victims is essential in the fight against domestic violence.
We hope to see plenty more individuals stepping up to contribute to the Celia Fund campaign. For information on the campaign and Turning Point, call the agency at 815-338-8081 or visit www.mchenrycountyturningpoint.org.