Third Street Alliance is not strictly a shelter for victims of domestic violence, but many of the residents come to recognize they have been victims of domestic partner abuse in some form, not just physical. The abuse can be financial, verbal or emotional, too. The abuse takes away the victim’s trust in the relationship, brings a loss of self-esteem which leads to isolation.
“Many times, people do not know that they are victims until they start opening up to others and hearing a different perspective about their situation,” said Janice Thomas, director of Homeless Services.
Third Street Alliance partners with Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley to ensure that on-site domestic violence counseling services are available for women living in the shelter and for residents of the greater Easton community.
Shelter residents can schedule one-on-one counseling sessions with Damaris Vega or attend group sessions held once a week at Third Street Alliance. And when residents move out they can continue to receive counseling services from Turning Point at Third Street Alliance.
Turning Point will also schedule one-stop meetings for residents seeking information and guidance. Third Street Alliance has helped community clients find housing after they chose to leave their homes due to abuse.
“In many cases, a person feels that they are alone and their mind becomes clouded, things that appear unreal become real,” Damaris said. “Getting counseling after the abuse is very important. The victim’s mind needs to be re-wired to identify what is real. Empowering counseling, which is what we do, assists the victim to understand who they are…and helps to find their voice.”
Third Street Alliance and Turning Point are working together to promote National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. Turning Point will host a candlelight vigil at Third Street Alliance on Oct. 16 to recognize and honor those who haven’t survived domestic violence.
The evening will include speakers, artists, songs, and a walk from Third Street Alliance to Easton’s Centre Square.
For more information on the event, go to www.thirdstreetalliance.org/events.