jb, rh | TahoeDailyTribune.com

jb, rh

By Jill Darby, Tribune staff writer

Improvements and upgrades will be made to the South Lake Tahoe Women’s Center’s emergency shelter, thanks to a $10,000 grant from Philip Morris.

Women’s Center employees Barbara Truman and Karen Hodges applied for the Doors of Hope grant when they heard the El Dorado County Women’s Center received funding from Philip Morris.

“The El Dorado County Women’s Center received funds for their shelter so we decided to just go ahead and apply for it,” said Hodges, associate director at the Women’s Center. “I figured tons of people apply and since some money had already gone to this county, I thought we might not get it. But we did and it was very nice. It kind of spruces things up for the holidays.”

Doors of Hope supports domestic violence agencies across the country, providing food, shelter, counseling and training to abused women and their families.

According to Hodges, the Women’s Center, operated by Womenspace Unlimited, plans to use the grant money for repairs and improvements to its emergency shelter.

“It will be used for painting, carpeting, tile, two washer/dryers,” she said. “The money came at a really great time because the carpeting and the work that needed to be done was looking a little shabby. It will be nice to have it done for the holidays and we won’t have to worry about that for five or six years now.”

Philip Morris partnered with the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Doors of Hope, a multi-million dollar, national grant-making initiative, was born out of that partnership.

Doors of Hope is the nation’s largest public-private partnership which addresses domestic violence. Almost $3 million in grant money has been awarded to more than 200 organizations across the country.

“Transitional housing is a crucial step in helping women establish their independence once they have left an abusive relationship,” said Diane Eidman, manager of domestic violence programs at Philip Morris Management Corp. “We are pleased to provide funding for these much-needed improvements.”

Hodges said the shelter is funded through federal and state monies, as well as donations from both South Shore Soroptimist clubs. However, more financial backing is always sought.

“Providing a safe and comforting environment for battered women is critical to our mission to help survivors of domestic violence regain control of their lives,” Hodges said in a written statement. “We are grateful that Philip Morris supports our efforts to end domestic violence in the South Lake Tahoe area and to ensure that battered women and their children have a safe place to seek shelter.”

In addition to providing a safe shelter, the Women’s Center offers counseling for women and children, life skills training, legal assistance, and accompaniment for victims through the legal and medical process.

The Women’s Center and shelter is in desperate need of disposable diapers for its youngest clients. Medium and large diapers are most in demand. Anyone who wishes to make a donation to the Women’s Center should call (530) 544-2118.

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