The Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation

Empowering Survivors Through Advocacy

Grant Information
Categories Community , Peace
Location United States
Cycle Year 2014
Organization Information
Organization Name (provided by applicant) Safe Embrace
Organization Name (provided by automatic EIN validation)
Contact Information
Contact Name John Etchemendy
Phone 775-322-3466
PO Box 3745
Additional Information
Used for Funds will allow us to continue to employ the part-time Safe Embrace shelter advocate who works with female and child victims of domestic violence (DV) seeking refuge from violence in our 90 day safe house. Funds will provide emotional support and encouragement for clients in crisis, connect shelter clients to available resources, support clients through legal processes (temp. protection orders, custody, & divorce), assist clients with setting and monitoring employment and educational goals, and facilitate training on domestic violence facts and skills, personal finances, and nonviolent parenting.
Benefits The Shelter Advocate provides individual case management and facilitates therapeutic support groups and a wide range of classes for residents. Domestic violence is a generational cycle of violence which directly or indirectly affects everyone in our community. Our Shelter Advocate is committed to providing clients (and their children) with the support, encouragement, and tools that they need to break this cycle and live free from violence in the future.
Proposal Description THE NEED:

Nevada consistently ranks among the “top ten” states with the highest rates of domestic violence, intimate partner murder, and sexual assault (SA). Safe Embrace is one of only two long-standing domestic violence shelters in the greater metropolitan area of Reno-Sparks, Nevada. The Reno-Sparks Metro Area (RSMA) is the second largest population in the state of Nevada; this metropolitan population has more than doubled in the twenty years that Safe Embrace has been in the community and is forecasted to continue growing at a rapid pace.

Reno-Sparks is widely regarded as a transit city and has a large (non-local) transient population. From a socio-economic standpoint, the RSMA has a lower-than-average median household income, wages, education level, and graduation rate. For those who are employed, when compared to the national average, RSMA had a lower average (mean) hourly wage, fewer technical positions, and significantly higher average employment in service and labor related occupational groups. The RSMA also has higher-than-average unemployment, poverty and substance abuse rates. Studies have consistently found positive associations between levels of violence in communities with lower-than-average-socio-economic indicators and higher density of alcohol outlets, transient populations and substance abuse rates.


Safe Embrace works closely with police victim advocates, medical facilities, schools, community organizations, and tribal governments to identify victims of domestic violence in our community and offer them services so that they may break the cycle of violence and live healthy lives. We operate a 24hr crisis hotline, a public office to meet with those seeking counseling and/or advice, a 30-90 day 14 bed secure emergency shelter, and a transitional housing program. In house, we offer a wide range of therapeutic and support services for individuals escaping violence. For the public, we provide weekly survivor support groups, advocacy meetings by appointment, therapeutic activities, counseling referrals, and public lectures and trainings.


The need in this community for our services is considerable and Safe Embrace relies on Federal Grant funding, individual donations, and private foundation support. In the last decade, according to NNADV, Federal funds for domestic violence programs have “shrunk” by an estimated 26%. Additionally, because NV does not have a state income tax, Nevada state support (funding) for DV shelters is lower than in other states.


Safe Embrace is a medium-sized shelter program that currently has a total of 3.5 full time employees and a large group of dedicated volunteers. In the last 12 months, we have provided 128 women and children with a total of 3,756 bed nights in our shelter (we also provided 54 motel nights for 38 men, women and children and rental and childcare assistance for 16 transitional housing clients). We pride ourselves on serving the underserved. We are known in the community for being a welcoming nonjudgmental program. We open our doors to women of color, individuals with substance abuse and mental health issues, lesbian and transgender women, and the economically disadvantaged. Recognizing that domestic violence can affect anyone, we also serve women of economic privilege and women who flee to Nevada from out of state.


In 2014, Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation funds in the amount of $14,000 were combined with donated funds to allow us to increase the hours of our $12/hr part-time shelter advocate from 12 hrs/wk to 30 hrs./wk. This significant increase in staffing capacity meant that 1/2 of the adults and children in our care in 2014 received consistent and individualized case management from our Dougherty Foundation Part-time Shelter Advocate. This Shelter Advocate also facilitated our weekly shelter peer-support groups, provided emotional support and encouragement to clients in crisis, connected shelter clients to available resources, supported them through legal processes, assisted them with working towards employment and educational goals, and provided training on domestic violence knowledge and skills, personal finances, and nonviolent parenting. Prior to receiving Dougherty funding, volunteers had to be utilized for each of these services –this created significant scheduling, management, and quality assurance difficulties for our small overloaded staff.

The Dougherty Foundation Part-time Shelter Advocate has truly made a positive impact in the lives of well over 60 survivors of domestic violence this year alone, and we hope that we will be considered for similar funding again in 2015.


For over 15 years, Safe Embrace has managed to meet the needs of our rapidly growing community with a very small staff. Our focus has always been on providing the highest quality of compassionate service to survivors of domestic violence. Over the years, we have provided information and resources to tens of thousands of crisis callers, well over a thousand survivors have stayed in our secure shelter for months at a time, and many more have attended our support groups and trainings on domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, and non-violent parenting. Because of limited resources –and our dedication to our programs, fundraising and marketing activities have historically taken a back seat to programs and operations.

In 2015, Safe Embrace has been approved (through State of Nevada and Federal Funds) to add a Full Time Sexual Assault Coordinator and Part Time Clinical Director (consultant) to our existing staff. The addition of these new staff members will provide a level of capacity that we have never had before. In 2015, we will be focused on building programs around unmet community needs (like building a kennel so that survivors will not have to abandon pets), improving our “product” (offering individualized therapy in-house), and offering our services to more clients (adding more beds now that we will have the staff to attend to them). The new staff positions will also qualify us for new funding streams that we were previously not eligible for. With increased funding and staff, our ability to produce higher volumes and quality of funding proposals, conduct more fundraising events, and conduct more public outreach will undoubtedly yield increased community support by the end of next year.

With continued Dougherty Foundation funding for a Part-time Shelter Advocate, Safe Embrace will be in the most stable position that we have been in for many years. Your ongoing support is vital to maintain the positive momentum that we have built over the last year. We sincerely hope that you will continue to believe in our work and support us. Thank you.