(WTNH) — Non-profits have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. But hard work and outside organizations helping with their hearts and their checkbooks are making a difference to organizations fighting domestic violence.
Domestic violence was a pandemic long before the COVID-19 crisis. In crises like after 9/11 and the great recession, the frequency and intensity of domestic violence increases.
Mary-Jane Foster is the President and CEO of the Interval House – the state’s largest agency dedicated to ending domestic violence. She told News 8, since the pandemic started requests for services at the Interval House are up by around 38% in Hartford alone.
But, like many other businesses, the Interval House has been hit hard by the pandemic.
Fortunately, with hard work and outside organizations opening their hearts, as well as their checkbooks, “We all still have Payroll,” Foster said, “and we all still have food and shelter and utilities to pay for in our safe house. It’s been a concern, and the response has been mind-blowing”
In the face of the pandemic, the Interval House has received four grants totaling more than $125,000.
Like a lot of companies during the pandemic shutdowns, Foster and her staff are split up, with most working from home. Her staff had technology that wasn’t up to date or compatible. They were without the ability to communicate or do their work effectively or securely. But now, four major grants have come forward to help with cybersecurity.
“Most businesses have at least some information that’s confidential. In our case, it’s highly confidential. We have to protect all of that data. The Hartford Foundation turned around. I mean in a week or so with almost $40,000 worth of funds so that we could get that taken care of,” Foster explained.
In addition to the Max and Marion Hoffman Foundation, grants were awarded by The Hartford, Lincoln Financial, and Bank of America Foundations.
“If you don’t have any kind of economic security or safety net, you will return to the dangerous place you just left. So, that’s what all of these dollars are helping us do. Keep women, children and families safe.”