Editorial

Safe House marks 25 years of service

Monday, June 19, 2017

It was a joy to see hundreds come to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Safe House for Women at the Isle Casino Cape Girardeau Event Center on June 9. The luncheon highlighted the good work the organization has done throughout the years and focused on the work ahead.

As Jon K. Rust, publisher of the Southeast Missourian and co-president of Rust Communications, wrote in a column, several speakers, crisis advocates, community officials and supporters attended. Drew Juden, Missouri director of Public Safety, was keynote speaker and characterized the Safe House as "not … labor, but a calling." Pat Strom, the founding board president, echoed that characterization, defining it as "the call to service, the call to God."

"A calling" is the perfect way to describe the Safe House. The past 25 years have brought help to countless women battling abuse, mental issues, homelessness, addiction and more. Its success has relied on staff, volunteers, law enforcement and an entire community answering that call.

We know what the Safe House also requires labor, however. It requires people putting feet to their faith -- going the extra mile. This is what people have done throughout the years to keep things moving so no one in need would be without help and hope.

"The first few years were hard, but we were determined to have good relationships with churches, law enforcement and local officials," Strom said.

Twenty-five years later, the results demonstrate that the determination and partnerships have paid off.

The event was a fitting celebration of the past, but it was not an ending. It's full steam ahead for the Safe House! Jessica Hill, executive director of the Safe House, who emceed the luncheon, announced the launch of an initiative to "provide the funds necessary to construct a new crisis shelter for women and their children who have experienced domestic and sexual violence in our community." The goal is to raise $2 million. Some of you are already Safe House supporters and know firsthand how vital this "calling is." Thank you! Others may not yet have gotten involved. Please consider helping with this campaign to enhance and multiply the good the Safe House does by donating or seeing how else you may help. Email or call for more information: development@semosafehouse.org or call (573) 335-7745.

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