Safe Berks, which provides safe haven and support to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, postponed all counseling support groups and public events, limiting access to its building and asking volunteers not to visit. At this time, Safe Berks is not accepting donations of goods. Also, those seeking free crisis services should call or text the hotline.
“The Safe Berks Board of Directors, our Interim CEO Angel Helm, and our Chief Operating Officer Beth Garrigan are closely monitoring new updates concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19). Our highest priority is to safeguard the health and safety of our residents, clients and staff,” according to the statement in the release. “In order to protect the public health, as well as the health of the Safe Berks family, we have enacted several changes.”
For victims of domestic violence and sexual assault who are seeking free crisis services, call the 24-hour hotline at 844-789-SAFE (7233) or text SAFE BERKS to 20121. Crisis services, including requests for shelter or medical advocacy, will flow through the hotline and text line.
“We will continue to provide free, confidential services to local survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault 24 hours each day. Anyone in immediate danger should call 911.”
For Legal questions and concerns, call 610-373-1206, ext. 107, and leave a message. Messages will be checked frequently by legal advocates, who will call clients back.
While all counseling support groups are postponed at this time, free individual counseling is still available. Call Danielle Palermo, Director of Counseling, at 610-373-1206, ext 606.
Safe Berks staff will continue to work closely with Tower Health/Reading Hospital, Penn State Health St. Joseph, and Berks Community Health Center to provide medical advocacy and support for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. For questions about medical advocacy, contact Beth Garrigan, Chief Operating Officer, at BethG@SafeBerks.org.
“These changes are temporary; we hope to return to previous practices in the near future. We are very grateful to the community for your support of Safe Berks as volunteers, donors and advocates, and we ask for your continued support during these challenging times,” Safe Berks announced in their statement.
Safe Berks will provide updates through traditional media, social media on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter, and other communication channels.