2023 Impact Report

Creating A Vibrant Community

Dear Friends,

When survivors of domestic violence experience violence and abuse at the hands of someone they love, they turn to LifeWire for help. LifeWire is the most comprehensive domestic violence service agency in Washington State and the largest domestic violence housing provider in King County—providing emergency and relocation services for survivors and their children who would otherwise have to remain in an abusive household or become homeless.

Domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children in the nation. LifeWire completed the Hope Starts Here Capital Campaign in 2022 to address this issue. Thanks to LifeWire’s supportive community, we purchased a 25-unit apartment complex, which includes ADA-accessible apartments, and built a services office in one central location. This fall, families will move into their new apartments and will have full access to LifeWire’s emergency shelter and transitional housing programs with on-site services and easy access to transportation, schools, and additional resources. Through this innovative project, LifeWire will increase housing access for survivors and children in our community who are facing the greatest safety risks and highest barriers to safe housing.

Today, our ongoing goal is to build a safe and thriving community by addressing violence and dismantling barriers that so many survivors face. Creating lasting change requires the collective effort of our entire community, standing together as leaders. Together, we can challenge and transform the societal norms that enable domestic violence, demolish systems that perpetuate racism and inequality, and embrace diversity, equity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging. We are committed to providing every possible resource to ensure the safety, security, and well-being of the survivors we serve

Over the past year, we have established an inclusive and equitable leadership structure, reflecting our commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging by welcoming our New Co-Executive Director of Organizational Operations. This structure decentralizes power dynamics and allows for a broader range of perspectives and expertise, leading to more comprehensive decision-making processes. It is an approach that enables LifeWire to navigate complex challenges and drive sustainable impact.

Thank you for all the ways you help LifeWire. With your support, we are making a profound difference in the lives of survivors, seeking safety.

In community/En comunidad,

Karlah Ramírez-Tánori
Co-Executive Director of Survivor Driven Services
Janeira
Janeira Bencosme-Gil 
Co-Executive Director of Organizational Operations

2022 Impact Report

You Make a Difference for Survivors

Dear Friends,

When survivors and families in our community face violence and abuse at the hands of someone they love, they turn to LifeWire for help. In 1982, LifeWire started out as Eastside Domestic Violence Program, an all-volunteer crisis line. In 1998, we began providing emergency shelter and transitional housing services, and we have increased capacity annually to meet the growing need for critical services in our community.

Today, we are celebrating 40 Years of Service—providing direct services to over 3,300 survivors annually. We are the most comprehensive domestic violence (DV) service agency in Washington State and the largest DV housing provider in King County—providing emergency and relocation services for survivors and their children who would otherwise have to remain in an abusive household or become homeless.

Domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children in the nation. LifeWire launched the Hope Starts Here Capital Campaign in 2018 to address this issue. Thanks to LifeWire’s generous donors and supportive community, we completed the Campaign in May 2022, having raised $15.75M to purchase a 25-unit apartment complex, provide ADA-accessible apartments, and build a services office in one central location.

This fall, we will move homeless survivors and their families into their new apartments, creating a vibrant community with on-site services and easy access to transportation, schools, and additional resources. We will increase housing access for survivors and children in our community who are facing the greatest safety risks and highest barriers to safe housing.

We have made great strides, but there is still more work to be done. As we recover from COVID-19 and economic uncertainty, the need for LifeWire services continues to grow in numbers and intensity. Time and time again, we have faced the need for change head-on and embraced the opportunity to be a leader in the mission to end domestic violence.

This year, LifeWire is transitioning to new leadership who will continue to move this incredible organization forward. We are committed to providing every possible resource to ensure the safety, security, and well-being of the survivors we serve.

Thank you for all the ways you help LifeWire! Through your generosity, LifeWire can provide the support and resources that survivors and their children need to build safer, more stable lives. Thank you!

Gratefully,

Rebecca Houghton
LifeWire Board President
Brian Hughes,
LifeWire Interim Executive Director

SURVIVOR STORIES

Leaving The Cycle of Domestic Violence and Homelessness

While Lucia was working on getting her green card, she was experiencing
extensive physical violence. The police were called to her home, but her abuser accused Lucia of domestic violence, and because he had scratches on his arms from her self-defense attempts, he falsely accused her of DV, got a no-contact order, and removed her from their home.


Lucia was homeless and living in the park when another participant
brought her to LifeWire. She was terrified. Her abuser was threatening
to harm or kill her daughters in Mexico, and she was in danger of having her green card application denied due to the DV charges. We brought Lucia
into our shelter as she needed a safe, a confidential place to stay, and paired her with a Spanish-speaking advocate. Together, they worked tirelessly with the prosecutor’s office to get the false charges dismissed.


Finally, her immigration process was back on track, and she got a work permit. We reunited her with her daughters, and the family is now prospering. Lucia and her oldest daughter have jobs; her youngest
daughter is in school. They feel safe. They have enough income to pay their rent and are looking for a new apartment using LifeWire’s Rapid Rehousing
Program and the Address Confidentiality Program. Through LifeWire’s confidential services, Lucia and her children have created a safe and happy home.

Lucia

“I didn’t see a way out. LifeWire helped me find safety, security, and hope.”

Lucia, Survivor

Hope Starts Here

For five years, LifeWire supported Anna with advocacy and counseling while she and her children lived in an abusive household. Her husband isolated and controlled her, refused to let her seek sobriety support, and never let her be alone with her children. It was simply not safe for her to leave. LifeWire advocates worked with Anna to create a Safety Plan and provided emotional and practical support so that she could plan for how she and her children might one day escape their situation.


On March 18, 2022, Anna drove away from that abusive home with her children. They were able to move into LifeWire’s transitional housing, My Friend’s Place, where survivors who are parenting and struggling with substance use can heal and rebuild their lives. Anna called her advocate on the way to say how amazing it felt just to be in the car, alone with her two children, for the first time in years. For now, Anna and her children are sharing one bedroom. But, later this year, they will move into their own private Hope Starts Here (HSH) Apartment with access to schools, grocery stores, parks, and playgrounds at our new facility.


Anna and her two children.

“For the first time in a very long time, I’m looking forward to the future. LifeWire saved my life.”

Anna, Survivor

Turning To LifeWire For Help

When Angela found out she was expecting her first child, she was thrilled. She thought everything was “fine” with her marriage until the arguing, insults, and visits to the emergency room began. Every night she would become afraid when she heard the key turn in the lock, knowing that her partner was home from work.


One weekend, when Angela’s husband violently assaulted her in front of her young son, she called LifeWire. Her advocate helped her file a police report and a protection order and moved Angela and her son into a confidential hotel while the police searched for her abuser. After he was arrested, she was able to break her lease and move to a safe, confidential apartment.


At LifeWire, she found a safe place where she could talk with a mental health therapist and begin to heal from the recurring anxiety brought on by being traumatized and abused. Today, Angela has a healthy three-year-old son, works at a job she loves, and is living in her own apartment. Angela credits LifeWire with this powerful transformation.

Angela and her son

“It’s important to know there’s a safe place for survivors to go to, a place to heal and overcome the trauma they have experienced,” she explains.
“It helps to talk with someone that really understands what that fear and betrayal feel like.

Angela, Survivor

CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF SERVICE

Mother Son Cover

Everyone deserves to live a life
free from fear and violence.

Everyone deserves to
live a life free from fear
and violence.


LifeWire’s 2022 Impact
Report to our generous
donors and supportive
community.


In this annual report,
we share with you the
powerful impact of
LifeWire’s work, and
stories about the
strength and courage
of the domestic violence
survivors we serve

LIFEWIRE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
PRESIDENT
Rebecca Houghton
Microsoft

VICE PRESIDENT
Theresa Anderson
REI

TREASURER
Brenda Puls
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

SECRETARY
Sabrina Quarles Coleman
Eli Lilly & Company

PAST PRESIDENT
Andrew Farrell
Symetra

DIRECTORS
Carissa Allen
Microsoft

Shawn Anderson
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Valerie Chrusciel
Overlake Medical Center & Clinics

Ashica DeMira
Gerontological Clinical Social Worker

Norm Escover
NAES Corporation

Monique Gablehouse
EvergreenHealth

Cristina House
Microsoft

Cynthia Jorgensen
The Boeing Company

Elizabeth Mangini
2A Consulting

Karen Melanson
Amazon

Laurie Miyauchi
Microsoft

Trey Williamson
Pokémon Go

Grant Yerke
Broderick Group

Dear Friends,


When survivors and families in our community face violence and abuse at the hands of someone they love, they turn to LifeWire for help. In 1982, LifeWire started out as Eastside Domestic Violence Program, an all-volunteer crisis line. In 1998, we began providing emergency shelter and transitional housing services, and we have increased capacity annually to meet the growing need for critical services in our community.


Today, we are celebrating 40 Years of Service—providing direct services to over 3,300 survivors annually. We are the most comprehensive domestic violence (DV) service agency in Washington State and the largest DV housing provider in King
County—providing emergency and relocation services for survivors and their children who would otherwise have to remain in an abusive household or become homeless.


Domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children in the nation. LifeWire launched the Hope Starts Here Capital Campaign in 2018 to address this issue. Thanks to LifeWire’s generous donors and supportive community, we completed the Campaign in May 2022, having raised $15.75M to purchase a 25-unit apartment complex, provide ADA-accessible apartments, and build a services office in one central location.


This fall, we will move homeless survivors and their families into their new apartments, creating a vibrant community with on-site services and easy access to transportation, schools, and additional resources. We will increase housing access for survivors and children in our community who are facing the greatest safety risks and highest barriers to safe housing.


We have made great strides, but there is still more work to be done. As we recover from COVID-19 and economic uncertainty, the need for LifeWire services continues to grow in numbers and intensity. Time and time again, we have faced the need for change head-on, and embraced the opportunity to be a leader in the
mission to end domestic violence.


This year, LifeWire is transitioning to new leadership who will continue to move this incredible organization forward. We are committed to providing every possible resource to ensure the safety, security, and well-being of the survivors we serve.


Thank you for all the ways you help LifeWire! Through your generosity, LifeWire can provide the support and resources that survivors and their children need to build safer, more stable lives. Thank you!

Gratefully,

Rebecca Houghton, Board President
Rebecca Houghton, LifeWire Board President
Brian Hughes, Interim Executive Director
Brian Hughes, LifeWire Interim Executive Director

ADVOCACY SERVICES

LifeWire is a nationally recognized leader
and the largest comprehensive service
provider dedicated to preventing and
ending domestic violence in Washington.
Our innovative programs, services, and
advances in prevention and education
in our schools and communities have a
far-reaching impact.
We partner with each survivor on their
journey to regain renewed strength and
empowerment. We listen to survivors
describe their needs and help them
identify resources that will enable them to
build safer lives. By tailoring our support
to each survivor, we can respond to their
unique barriers, challenges, and goals.

Responding to COVID-19

Responding to COVID-19

The need for our services quickly grew during the pandemic, both in numbers and intensity. We experienced exponential increases in requests for housing and food assistance, as well as safety planning, legal help, and mental health therapy.

The pandemic forced abusers, survivors, and children into extended close contact, increasing the likelihood and severity of violence. Survivors who had already left abusive partners found it harder to stay safe and struggled to maintain their economic stability.

Thanks to creative planning, technology, and the dedication of our staff, LifeWire quickly adjusted in March 2020 to keep our shelters open and offer all other services virtually. To meet emerging needs, we expanded critical and emergency services.

We kept a skeleton staff at our shelters and continued to accept new families as shelter space became available. Thanks to new safety measures, and a little luck, there weren’t any confirmed COVID-19 cases in our shelters. Advocates became deeply creative to meet the new challenges:

  • Communicating with survivors through safe words and secure emails when an abusive partner was almost always home
  • Purchasing necessities online for families with health concerns so they didn’t have to venture out for diapers, wipes, or medicine
  • Using promissory letters and landlord education to help survivors relocate
  • Virtually accompanying survivors through court proceedings
  • Helping participants purchase phones, computers or other technology needed to access services

We anticipate that the effects of the pandemic in terms of home displacement, rental arrears, legal backlogs, trauma, mental health concerns and other immediate survivor needs will continue for 2-3 years after Washington state reopens. For survivors, this crisis is far from over

Finding strength and stability

Every time Aleah tried to leave or hide, her abusive partner tracked her down. Eventually, one of his violent outbursts left her with a traumatic brain injury and a growing stack of medical bills. When he landed in jail for the assault, Aleah was also left to pay their shared rent and the other bills. She tried to find work, but jobs were scarce during the first months of the pandemic. Then her doctor declared her unable to work for at least a few months while she healed from her brain injury.

Aleah was months behind on her rent when she reached out to LifeWire for financial help. Despite the eviction moratorium, her landlord pressed her weekly about paying the back rent accumulated since her assault. Aleah told her advocate that she didn’t know where else to go for help. She had immigrated to the U.S. from the Middle East for school nearly a decade before, leaving most of her family behind.

To give Aleah the stability she needed to address her health and other DV-related issues, LifeWire paid her rent twice. When her abuser got out of jail and assaulted her again, Aleah called her advocate for help with crisis safety planning. She worked with her LifeWire legal advocate to get a Domestic Violence Protection Order. In the process, Aleah learned how to advocate for herself if she needed to call the police on her abuser again. Equipped with a better understanding of the American legal system, Aleah found a low-cost lawyer to support her case.

Feeling safer, Aleah worked with her advocate on becoming economically stable. She connected with the additional health services she needed to heal and applied for medical bill relief. Aleah finally felt able to sleep at night when she connected with Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) – King County, which will help repay her back rent. Aleah is still recovering from her head injury, but she hopes to find a new job soon. She recently told her advocate, “I’m doing really well.”

We support survivors:

LifeWire partners with survivors on their individual journeys toward renewed strength, stability, and empowerment. Our advocates listen to survivors as they describe their needs and help them identify resources that will enable them to build safer lives. By tailoring our support to each survivor, we are able to respond to survivors’ unique barriers, challenges, and goals.

Help us ensure that LifeWire’s Advocacy Services are here for every survivor who needs them when they need them.

Thanks to your support, last year:

  • 969 survivors worked one-on-one with a LifeWire advocate to heal from physical, financial, emotional, and other forms of abuse.
  • 209 participants received support from LifeWire’s Legal Advocacy services team for domestic violence-related issues, including Protection Orders and custody challenges.
  • 158 adults, children, and youth received domestic violence-informed mental health therapy to heal form their experiences.