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Nonprofit Spotlight: 2nd Chance Inc. A Beacon of Hope for Domestic Violence Survivors in Northeast Alabama

2nd Chance

Anniston, AL – The Calhoun Journal recently had the privilege of speaking with Krychelle Smith, Executive Director of 2nd Chance Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to supporting domestic violence survivors and their families in Northeast Alabama. In a comprehensive interview, Smith shared exciting updates and valuable insights into the organization’s ongoing efforts, challenges, and future plans.

Smith began by discussing the forthcoming launch of their revamped website. “Our website is in the middle of being updated. What’s out there now is actually outdated,” she explained. The new website, set to launch within the next month, will feature a dedicated section for volunteer opportunities. Until then, those interested in volunteering can reach out directly to the organization.

Red Bird Camp

Volunteers are a cornerstone of 2nd Chance Inc.’s operations, providing crucial support in various capacities. Smith emphasized the importance of a thorough application process, including background checks and trauma-informed care training for volunteers. This rigorous preparation ensures that volunteers are well-equipped to assist clients who are navigating the aftermath of trauma.

“Volunteers can help with support groups or answer calls on our crisis line,” Smith noted. However, she differentiated these roles from more general volunteer activities such as organizing donation drives or planting flowers. “We wouldn’t necessarily do the training in that instance,” she said, clarifying that specialized training is reserved for those directly interacting with clients.

One of the critical aspects of 2nd Chance Inc.’s volunteer training is education on trauma-informed care. Smith elaborated on the necessity of this approach, particularly for volunteers who are themselves survivors of domestic violence. “It’s very important that we do the trauma training so that you can differentiate between your trauma and the trauma that a client is experiencing,” she explained. This understanding helps volunteers provide empathetic and effective support without projecting their own experiences onto the clients.

2nd Chance Inc. welcomes support from religious organizations but adheres to strict guidelines due to federal funding. “Religious organizations can come in, but you can’t pass out Bibles, and you can’t preach to the clients that we serve,” Smith clarified. This policy ensures respect for the diverse religious beliefs of their clients and compliance with federal regulations.

Safety is another paramount concern, especially when clients express a desire to attend church services. While 2nd Chance Inc. facilitates transportation, the inherent risks associated with public spaces remain. “It is a safety liability, but if our clients want to go, then we will transport them,” Smith stated.

The need for shelter remains a pressing issue, with 2nd Chance Inc.’s emergency facilities often at full capacity. “We get a lot of calls for people seeking shelter,” Smith said. With only 16 domestic violence organizations with shelters in Alabama, the demand far exceeds the available resources. As a result, many clients are referred to other organizations, a process that underscores the critical need for more shelters across the state.

2nd Chance Inc. offers a wide array of services to address the multifaceted needs of domestic violence survivors. These services are not just for those in married or long-term relationships experiencing trauma. Smith stressed that domestic violence can affect anyone—women, men, the elderly, and various communities, including but not limited to LGBTQIA+. The organization supports individuals facing mental, physical, and financial abuse. “These issues aren’t just one type, and the support offered is for many experiences,” Smith emphasized.

2nd Chance Inc. offers a wide array of services to address the multifaceted needs of domestic violence survivors. These include:

– Emergency Shelter: The Joy Kathryn Courtney House and the Legacy House provide safe, confidential residences for those fleeing domestic violence.

– Court and Legal Advocacy: Victims’ advocates assist survivors navigating the criminal justice system.

– Case Management: Individual support to expedite recovery and transition to independent living.

– Elder Abuse Support: Specialized services for older victims of abuse.

– Child Advocacy: Dedicated support for children who have witnessed domestic violence.

– Counseling Services: Licensed professional counselors provide free, trauma-informed therapy.

– Rapid Rehousing: Assistance in finding stable housing, coupled with workforce development initiatives.

2nd Chance Inc. also plays a vital role in community outreach, providing educational opportunities and training to raise awareness about domestic and sexual violence. “We provide training to the general public and for groups, tailored to fit any organization’s needs,” Smith said. This outreach helps foster a supportive community environment and educates the public on the complexities of domestic violence.

The organization relies on community support through fundraising events and donations. Their two main fundraisers, Christmas gift wrapping at the mall and an annual gala, are crucial for sustaining their operations. They also partner with other local organizations for events such as the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” fundraiser, further highlighting the importance of community involvement.

Smith emphasized that individuals and businesses can support 2nd Chance Inc. in various ways, from monetary donations and supplies to volunteering and spreading awareness. “Be our friend! Like us on Facebook!” she encouraged, underscoring the power of community engagement.

2nd Chance Inc. stands as a beacon of hope for domestic violence survivors in Northeast Alabama. Under Krychelle Smith’s leadership, the organization continues to adapt and expand its services to meet the evolving needs of its clients. As they prepare to launch their updated website, the call for community support is louder than ever. Whether through volunteering, donating, or simply spreading the word, everyone has a role to play in supporting this vital cause. For more information or to get involved, visit http://2ndChanceInc.org) or call 256-236-7381.

 

2nd Chance

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