Serenity House Dedication
TRACY – On Tuesday, September 9, Women’s Center - Youth & Family Services, and Sutter Tracy Community Hospital will host a dedication for Serenity House, Women’s Center-YFS’ new shelter for battered women and their children residing in South San Joaquin County. The dedication will be held from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm. Women’s Center-YFS invites the agency’s friends and supporters to join staff, board members and dignitaries as it celebrates this exciting new milestone.
Women’s Center-YFS previously operated TREE (Tracy Refuge for Empowerment and Education) House from 2004-2013 and housed more than 450 women and children during its 9 years of operation in South County. In 2013, after evaluating repairs for TREE House, Sutter Tracy Community Hospital and foundation staff determined the necessary repairs would be cost prohibitive. Instead of moving forward with renovations, the agency, hospital and the City of Tracy made the decision to purchase a new home to serve as an undisclosed emergency shelter for battered women and their children in South San Joaquin County. In November 2013, Women’s Center-YFS purchased a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home, that is expected to house 70 women and children its first year. Sutter Tracy Community Hospital has also generously donated $15,000 to furnish Serenity House.
“Sutter Tracy Community Hospital is dedicated to enhancing the well-being of the community, and we know that we cannot do that alone. Our support of Women’s Center-Youth & Family Services helps bring essential services for victims of domestic violence in South County and we are delighted to be a part of that effort,” Said, David Thompson, CEO of Sutter Tracy Community Hospital.
“We are extremely grateful to Sutter Tracy Community Hospital, The Tracy Hospital Foundation, the City of Tracy and San Joaquin County for the funding to create a new safe haven for victims of Domestic Violence in South County. Their support truly makes this possible,” said Joelle Gomez, CEO of Women’s Center-Youth & Family Services.
Services provided through Serenity House will include a safe haven for women and their children, a 24-hour helpline, counseling and support groups, safety planning, food and clothing, court and advocacy services, and information and referral services. Educational activities to help promote parenting skills, communication, nutrition, budgeting, job preparation/employment and other basic life skills are made available to help victims make a positive and successful transition back into society. Children residing at Serenity House have the opportunity to participate in individual and group counseling. A “Just for Kids” program helps children work through their feelings of anger, stress and aggression, learn that violence is not their fault and develop safety plans.
Serenity House is a 60-day program and serves up to 12 women and their children at any one time. All services are free, confidential and available to anyone escaping domestic violence. Victims access Serenity House through Women’s Center-YFS’ 24-hour helpline or law enforcement for initial safe entry into shelter.
Women’s Center-YFS is San Joaquin County’s only provider of free, confidential shelter and services specifically designed to meet the needs of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and homeless and runaway youth. Each year the agency serves more than 20,000 individuals through its direct services and community outreach, including more than 700 women, children and youth who stay in its shelters annually.