Making one’s own decisions; reclaiming the autonomy and dignity eroded by abuse
Small conference rooms can be used for confidential conversations with residents, taking crisis calls, staff consultations with supervisors or peers, and quiet moments of reflection. Sturdy, child-safe blinds on interior windows let users block visual access when privacy is needed, but share light across rooms when it is not.
Locks on doors require residents to request resources from staff, thus taking time away from their primary focus on advocacy.
“Clothing rooms” pose an ongoing challenge for advocates. Large donations of clothing can quickly overwhelm small rooms. Sorting clothing is not a good use of a highly trained advocate’s or volunteer’s time. Some programs have moved to creating cooperative relationships with local thrift stores: they send all clothing donations to the thrift store, and in exchange get gift certificates for their residents. This alleviates the need for storage, sorting time, and management of a clothing donations room. Some WA programs keep only new sweat pants, shirts and underwear on hand as a stopgap measure for residents who arrive with little or nothing, until they can obtain more clothing at a thrift store or with store vouchers.