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

Domestic Violence and Evictions

Paper copy of eviction notice on brown front door with brass door handle

COVID-19 and evictions

Nationally, one in three renters risks eviction because of financial hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The numbers are likely higher for survivors of domestic violence. Even before the pandemic, survivors, especially BIPOC women, were especially vulnerable to eviction because most have experienced financial abuse. Women who have experienced recent or ongoing domestic violence are more likely to face eviction than any other group of women. And Black women face evictions at least three times the rate of other survivors.

COVID-related layoffs, reduced hours, sickness, and the loss of affordable child care have made things worse. Survivors who can no longer afford rent are worried about becoming homeless when Washington’s eviction moratorium ends on December 31 {Update: now extended to September 30, 2021}. Thanks to flexible funds from local governments, foundations, and individuals, LifeWire has provided many survivors with rental assistance, reducing their chance of becoming homeless in the coming months. Even so, too many survivors will face eviction in 2021.

Continue reading “Domestic Violence and Evictions”

A Home of Her Own

Confident Black woman wearing peach shirt looking at camera

Layla’s husband controlled just about every part of her life. She had a part-time job because he wouldn’t let her work full-time—it was harder to monitor her when she worked. He controlled not only her paycheck but all of their money. Her name wasn’t even on their accounts, and he made her beg when she needed to buy essentials like food, soap, or toilet paper.

Continue reading “A Home of Her Own”

Homeless in Winter

Mom with son and daughter in grassy field

Shortly after arriving in Washington, Rose found a part-time job for the U.S. Postal Service. But between the government shutdown and February’s snowstorms, she went over two months without a full paycheck. Unable to rent an apartment because of the debt she took on to flee her abuser, Rose and her two children bounced between family, hotels, and her car. They were homeless in winter.

Stress, exhaustion, and worry replaced the initial relief Rose felt after putting 2,000 miles between her abuser and the kids. But what hurt Rose the most was watching her children face the ongoing impact of domestic violence combined with the new trauma of homelessness. Rose’s children struggled with their emotions at school and the lack of stability she longed to give them.

Rose reached out to LifeWire. With the help of her LifeWire housing advocate, Rose overcame her difficult rental history and limited income. After five months of wintertime homelessness, the family finally moved into an apartment of their own.

With a stable and safe roof over their heads and the support of LifeWire advocates, Rose and her children are healing and planning for their future. Rose is working on career development and the children are thriving in their new home and schools.

Domestic Violence and Homelessness

Woman driving a car

Alicia never slept in a building doorway. She and her kids never spent the night in a tent on the streets of Seattle or Bellevue. But for two years, Alicia and her family were homeless.

The eviction notice came after her abusive partner destroyed her credit by taking out loans in her name. She and her kids spent a few months couch surfing with various family and friends, never knew how long they could stay. They spent a year living out of their car. And for six months after that, they moved from shelter to shelter.

Continue reading “Domestic Violence and Homelessness”

Domestic violence happens on the Eastside

Logos for Hubbard Radio Seattle

Becky met her former husband while backpacking in Australia. They married in Britain, but she followed him to the Eastside.

Looking back, Becky realized the abuse started while they were dating but became steadily worse after they married. He controlled all of their finances and criticized her for buying things even though they both had good-paying jobs.

Over time the violence became more physical. He shoved her and hit their dog. Finally, he strangled her. Becky reached out to LifeWire for safety planning and financial support as she worked to leave her abuser and start a new life.

During October’s Domestic Violence Action Month, LifeWire’s Executive Director, Rachel Krinsky, domestic violence survivor, Becky, spoke with Gary Shipe about domestic violence and you can do to help survivors.

Listen to the full segment here:

Domestic violence and homelessness go hand in hand

Mom holding boy's hand

Women and children are not part of the homeless communities we typically see in our region. You don’t pass by them on your way to work or see them at a freeway on-ramp. Yet about half of homeless people are families, and domestic violence remains a leading cause of homelessness among women and children in the U.S. today.

“Eighty percent of homeless women with children have experienced domestic violence,” said Rachel Krinsky, LifeWire’s Executive Director. “Right here in Washington state, families with children represent nearly half of the 20,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night.”

Continue reading “Domestic violence and homelessness go hand in hand”