An estimated one third of all women in the United States have suffered from domestic violence at one point or another in their lives. In an effort to bring awareness to this issue, Councilwoman Judy Waldman presented a proclamation to Start Off Smart, Inc. (SOS), a local organization that helps victims of domestic violence, with a proclamation declaring October to be Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the City of Homestead.
“It is important to bring awareness to this issue that affects so many people in our community and to let our residents know that they can reach out to SOS when they need assistance,” said Councilwoman Waldman during the special presentation at the October City Council meeting. “I am so proud of the work SOS does to help families that have suffered from domestic violence and leave their homes with nothing but the clothes they are wearing.” Councilwoman Waldman works alongside SOS in providing free assistance to anyone in need of clothing through Judy’s Closet, a collection of new and gently-used clothing.
On October 6th SOS hosted a successful fundraising event Scrapbooking is Not a Crime…..Domestic Violence is! at the Homestead Community Center that raised over $3000 for assisting the victims of domestic violence. Participants spent the day in a group setting scrapbooking their favorite things, enjoying all meals provided and taking part in raffles.
Start Off Smart is an initiative of the Homestead Police Department that integrates law enforcement and human services personnel. The combination of services provides a holistic approach to meeting the needs of the community. SOS works as a multidisciplinary team that coordinates community-based services. The approach used is to address the root cause of behaviors, in order to reduce crime and duplication of services, thus resulting in a reduction of repeat offenses. Start Off Smart Inc. (SOS) works collaboratively with the Homestead Police Department in order to assist families who are exposed to violence. The goal is to provide a full range of social support services in conjunction with Law Enforcement. Start Off Smart accepts all referrals pertaining to residents of South Miami-Dade County, Homestead and Florida City. The most frequent requests for assistance are for child abuse and neglect, sexual abuse and exploitation, substance abuse, domestic violence, ungovernable children, mental health services, human trafficking, housing, parenting, elderly abuse and neglect, and homelessness. Funding for the operation of SOS is provided through grants and in-kind donations.
For more information on SOS visit: http://startoffsmartinc.com/