It’s a common saying that it takes a village to help someone leave an abusive relationship. That’s exactly what The Spring Of Tampa Bay is: A nonprofit that protects survivors of domestic violence. The Spring’s mission is to prevent domestic violence, protect victims, and promote change in lives, families and communities. Founded by four strong women, The Spring was established when one of the founding women opened up her home as a safe haven for a friend who needed to escape an abusive relationship. After word spread, more women came forward seeking shelter. Eventually, in 1984, the first shelter was built with only four bedrooms. Today, The Spring has become one of the largest domestic violence shelters in the state of Florida.

The Spring hosts an annual luncheon that provides insight and advocacy about domestic violence in our communities. The Annual Mabel H. Bexley Gift of Peace Lunch also celebrates individuals who’ve made an impact on the organization. The event takes place at Armature Works on October 26, 2022. October is domestic violence awareness month, so this event is an excellent opportunity to get involved.

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The luncheon is just one of the annual events that The Spring hosts. They also host The Annual Handbags & Happy Hour and an Annual Teen Summit. Here are the other ways that The Spring helps domestic abuse survivors of Tampa Bay.

  • Emergency Shelter

    The Spring’s emergency shelter is a space to seek refuge, a space to heal, and a space to rebuild. The 128-bed residential facility provides temporary shelter for individuals and families. The shelter provides survivors with the tools and guidance they need on their path to independence. The space includes a playground and library for children, as well as an elementary school. It also provides a multipurpose room and fully equipped bedrooms and bathrooms, one-on-one counseling and job prep services. The Spring even provides a safe and confidential location for pets to stay while their families are in the shelter.

  • The Kids Team

    Children living at the shelter are eligible for on-site childcare, elementary school, after-school programs, summer camps, and tutoring. These programs help parents gain some freedom to work during the day. Resident children attend groups to learn about safety planning and healthy relationships and have FUN.

  • Economic Empowerment

    The Spring offers computer training, resume writing, financial literacy, and social-emotional intelligence to help survivors prepare for self-sufficiency. A specially-trained Economic Empowerment Advocate works individually with survivors, and in small groups to address the economic conditions that create barriers to the long-term independence.

  • Outreach Services

    This program assists survivors with safety planning, supportive counseling, advocacy, linkage to community resources, support groups, and assistance filing Injunctions For Protection.

  • Peace Village and Housing Programs

    Peace Village is a 12-unit apartment complex that can house as many as 48 women and children. Each family signs a one-year lease and pays a significantly reduced portion of their rent and utilities.

    The Spring also provides homeless survivors with financial assistance to help them move into permanent housing. The housing case management services can last up to 12 months and throughout that time the participant receives assistance with establishing goals, increasing their income, and referrals to mainstream benefits.

     

  • Prevention Team

    Prevention Team teaches youth about healthy relationships through schools and partner agencies. The team provides trainings on domestic violence and teen dating violence to the community and professionals who work with families. The Prevention team coordinates a program called Peace in Action as well that works to address violent behavior by teaching participants that violence and abuse are unacceptable forms of behavior.

  • InVEST

    Two Intimate Violence Enhanced Services Team (InVEST) advocates work with local law enforcement to identify victims and survivors of domestic violence at high risk of being murdered by their partners. The Spring’s advocates reach out to survivors to offer safety planning information and services, while law enforcement partners implement measures to hold batterers accountable.

  • Coordinated Community Response

    Leads County system stakeholders in an initiative to evaluate and implement principles that increase victim safety and offender accountability. Provides technical assistance and training to criminal justice and domestic violence stakeholders.

  • Domestic Violence Court and Dependency Court

    Attorneys employed by The Spring* provide free legal services to help obtain Injunctions For Protection for survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence, and stalking. The attorneys also represent parents in Dependency Court when children are removed due to the domestic violence.