Laura Schultz Pipis, Executive Director of Family Counseling & Children Services of Lenawee County, was our program today. Previously, she spent 18 years with the American Red Cross – many as CEO of the Monroe chapter. She is also an adjunct lecturer at EMU teaching Leadership classes. Laura is a past president of the Kiwanis Club of Monroe but her hubby is a Rotary Club member and past president as well of Monroe – a “mixed” marriage as she refers to it! Her hubby is employed at Old National Bank and a colleague of Nate Smith’s! Laura spoke to us today about the Catherine Cobb Domestic Violence Shelter in particular. Here is what she shared with us:
In 1978, an organization by the name of Call Someone Concerned paved the way for the shelter which was officially started in 1979. A grant from the Stubnitz Foundation funded much needed remodeling of the facility recently. Their “Mission” – to help individuals and families make positive changes in their lives. The shelter currently sleeps 38 people. Staffing costs are offset by grant monies. However, there are many other expenses so they rely on private donations as well. It costs about $200,000 a year to run the shelter. Half of that comes from grant money.
Their 2nd Annual Everyday Hero’s Celebration fundraiser is scheduled for March 21 at the Tobias Center at Adrian College. The event honors individuals who do extraordinary things in this county. A panel made up of local community leaders review applications of those nominated and choose the winners each year. This past year some 15 people were recognized.
Statistics show that it takes an abused person 8 times before they actually break away from the source of the abuse. One in three families in Michigan are affected by domestic violence. In 2015 some 295 arrests were made that were domestic violence-related. There are over 100 domestic violence homicides in Michigan each year. Women who leave a relationship are in more danger within the first 2 weeks of leaving than at any other time in the relationship. In 2016 there were over 1,100 crisis calls made to the shelter, 115 adult residents were housed there, and 28,000+ meals were served.
For more info about items the shelter is always in need of and how you can donate directly, please visit:  Registries are setup at the local Kohl’s, Elder Beerman and Wal-Mart stores.