FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 19, 2014
Primary Contact: Jasmin Witcher, Director of Development
Phone: 703-658-9500
Email: jwitcher@bhn.org

Secondary Contact: Catherine Hassinger, Executive Director
Phone: 703-658-9500
Email: chassinger@bhnv.org

US Airways Community Foundation Awards Grant to Bethany House of Northern Virginia

Domestic violence shelter receives vital transportation grant.

ALEXANDRIA, VirginiaBethany House of Northern Virginia (BHNV), is a private, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides emergency shelter and supportive services to victims of domestic violence throughout Northern Virginia and the surrounding DC metro communities. Bethany House has been awarded a $33,500 grant from the US Airways Community Foundation toward the purchase of a new minivan.
Among the many services that Bethany House offers to its clients is the provision of transportation to agency activities, BHNV emergency shelters, court appointments, and service meetings. The ability for BHNV staff to provide transportation to its clients is critical. Having left behind employment, schools, child care, family, and friends to escape abusive relationships, BHNV clients, destitute and afraid, often arrive at shelters with no support system and none of the basic daily essentials that they need to survive. Bethany House works with these clients to provide the support and care they need in order to recover from abuse; however, these victims of domestic violence face many barriers to independent living including a lack of transportation. The grant that BHNV received from the US Airways Community Foundation will go directly to the purchase of a new minivan to transport clients.
Prior to receiving the grant from the US Airways Community Foundation, BHNV owned two vehicles, a middle-aged minivan and a high-mileage Jeep. These vehicles were both donated to Bethany House and are in constant use for not only transporting clients but also for picking up items donated to the shelters. During the 2012-2013 fiscal year, 60% of families who entered BHNV shelters had no transportation of their own, which left them dependent on BHNV staff to transport them to medical appointments, court dates, and even grocery shopping.
“Last year, BHNV spent over $3,600 on auto repairs,” said Catherine Hassinger, Executive Director of Bethany House. “An additional $4,400 was spent on taxi and other transportation expenses. While some of these costs may have been unavoidable, the amount of money spent on trying to preserve old vehicles was diverting resources better spent on direct client assistance. We are so grateful to the US Airways Community Foundation for their contribution which will enable BHNV to provide safe and reliable transportation for women and children as they work toward rebuilding lives free from violence.”

BHNV has provided safe and confidential shelter and support services to families and individuals recovering from domestic violence since 1979. Our mission is to help women and their children who have suffered from domestic violence regain health and dignity and become reestablished in their community by providing temporary housing and support.

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