Several local organizations are partnering together to provide social services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault — an effort the Red Bank Chamber Council is supporting through the donation of funds raised during the council's annual silent auction.
When the Rev. Amy Nutt became pastor of White Oak United Methodist Church in 2015, she became aware that many of the municipality's residents didn't have access to the social services available in Chattanooga, including services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault provided by the Family Justice Center at Eastgate.
In July 2016, the church partnered with the Family Justice Center and the Red Bank Police Department to provide a satellite location for the center, open on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in conjunction with the hours of Red Bank's city court. The police department refers victims, many of whom have been through the system before, for services such as assistance finding short-term housing and counseling.
After a year, it became clear that a resource offering basic essentials such as clothing and personal hygiene items would be beneficial to victims, Nutt told attendees at a recent meeting of the Red Bank Chamber Council. The $2,500 raised by the council through its auction will provide such a resource, she said.
"We're turning a room into a 'boutique' where women, children and even men can go" for essentials such as toothpaste, soap and socks, said Nutt.
She said the boutique had its first "customer" in November, a child who clutched the personal hygiene items as if they were the most-wanted toy of the season.
Email Emily Crisman at firstname.lastname@example.org