As the summer of 2018 grilled up and most folks headed to air-conditioned confines or the mountains on Friday, June 1, all types of city officials and volunteers from Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support, The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex and Families to Freedom headed to West Dallas. There they picked up paint brushes to add new life to dated homes. While doing this handiwork, they also learned how Habitat for Humanity‘s efforts help in the prevention of domestic violence. Here’s a report from the field:
On a hot Friday morning in June, more than 75 staff members from nearly 20 agencies on the Dallas County Family Violence Prevention Council (FVPC) gathered together in West Dallas to partner with the Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity for a day of service called One Community One Cause.
Through A Brush with Kindness, Dallas Habitat’s exterior home repair program, about 60 volunteers in orange hardhats worked to put final coats of paint on two houses. Hoping to reinforce the need for safe neighborhoods by providing safe homes for community members, volunteers performed the upkeep with the goal of improving the integrity and safety of the homes. Habitat’s A Brush with Kindness provides new roofs, siding, painting and wheelchair ramps and is available to homeowners who would otherwise be unable to maintain or stay in their home.
In addition to the 60 volunteers working with A Brush with Kindness to paint the exterior of the houses, dozens of additional volunteers prepared and served lunch. While they worked, volunteers took the time to get to know those who are working alongside them to end family violence.
The Family Violence Prevention Council consists of more than 20 agencies and institutions that aim to comprehensively address family violence throughout the life span, from child abuse to intimate partner violence and elder abuse.
At lunchtime arrived, volunteers sought relief from the heat under a tent as they gathered to hear from Anne Crews, Chair of the Dallas County FVPC.
“We hope that the One Community One Cause day of service will heighten awareness of domestic violence resources in the Dallas community,” she said. “Working with Habitat for Humanity is a logical next step for the FVPC because when we all work together, we can provide wraparound services to survivors of domestic violence and make a lasting impact right here in our own backyard.”
The group also heard from Stacey Malcolmson, executive vice president of external affairs, Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity.
“Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes and believes homeownership is a catalyst for community transformation,” she said. “The One Community One Cause day of service is contributing to safe houses and communities while empowering residents, and we are grateful to partner with these organizations.”