Advocates Against Domestic Abuse was awarded a Justice for Families grant from the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. This grant fund will be used to fund supervised visitation and safe exchanges services at AADA’s Remnica House program. The grant is for 2 years and is a total of $250,000. Remnica House provides these services to families that are or have experienced family violence. The Justice for Families funds were authorized under the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act in 2013. The Justice for Families grant program replaces the Safe Haven grant program which was originally awarded to Aitkin County in 2007 to fund these same services. The Safe Haven grant was a collaborative effort of Aitkin County, Advocates Against Domestic Abuse and the Aitkin County District Court, Judge John R Solien. Many community members and groups have collaborated with this program to ready the space for use and to enhance the services offered since 2009. A few of those efforts include: The First Lutheran Youth Group adopted a room and removed a wall making the kids feel more safe and a playground was constructed by volunteers and the Aitkin Women of Today raised the funds to purchase the supplies. Most recently the Middle School Student Council completed a mural project highlighting that “Hands are not for Hitting”.
Remnica House promotes safe and healthy relationships between parents and their children in a supervised setting. The objective is to increase safety for adult and child victims of domestic violence while decreasing the opportunities for further abuse before, during and after the visitation or exchange services. On average, Remnica House provides services to 20 families each month.
The Mission of this program is to provide a safe, peaceful environment for children and adults affected by domestic violence while utilizing community partnerships in an effort to foster healthy and respectful parent/child relationships through supervised visit and safe exchange services.
Due to this new grant cycle, Remnica House is expanding the staff. We are currently seeking an Outreach Coordinator who will help us share these available services to the rest of the community and make sure that parents know this service is available. We are also seeking a people that are interested in helping to monitor visits and exchanges. The visits and exchanges are set based on the parents schedules so could include early evenings and weekends. This might be a perfect opportunity for someone interested in earning some additional income.