ASSIGNMENT: Help support a victim of domestic violence.
REFERRING OFFICER: Columbus Division of Police Officer Anthony Roberts and his partner, Netcare Clinician Phil McGeorge (pictured)
Ofc Tony Roberts contacted us recently and asked if we'd be able to help a woman he and his partner, Phil McGeorge, had recently been dispatched to check on. The call initially had come in as someone in mental health distress, which he and Mr. McGeorge are trained to deal with as members of CPD's Mobile Crisis Response Unit. This unit partners police officers with Netcare clinicians, enabling them to respond to behavioral health and drug and alcohol calls seven days a week, from 10:00 am to midnight. Together they're able to offer referrals and placement for people struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues while helping avoid unnecessary incarcerations. They also provide needed follow up care and can bridge treatment gaps. (It's really a remarkable program and one we should be very proud to have in Columbus.)
After Ofc Roberts and Mr. McGeorge had an opportunity to assess the situation, they realized the woman, Dominique, was not in mental distress. Instead, she was a victim of domestic violence who was struggling with food insecurity and health issues. In addition, she has almost no furniture in her apartment, beyond a TV. Ofc Roberts turned to us to see if we'd be able to get her a bed to sleep on.
Starfish President/Founder Nicole Banks reached out to her neighborhood in the Northwest part of the city to see if they had furniture for Dominique. Did they ever! Within an hour and a half, Nicole was contacting Ofc Roberts and asking him what kind of couch he wanted for Dominique--a regular one, a sleeper sofa, or a recliner one with a table that folds down in the middle--and what type of bed--a queen size or a full-size platform style. Her neighbors also donated end tables, a coffee table, a rocking chair, dressers, a sleigh bed, and a kitchen table with two chairs.
We're so excited to move this furniture into Dominique's place over the weekend. It's small, so we don't think we need any other furniture, and if we need any other household items, Nicole's neighbor's have pledged to take care of her. However, she does have a need for food and some other expenses. Ofc Roberts will be buying her gift cards with any donations made if you'd like to make a contribution to help her.
Thank you, and thank you to Nicole's neighbors!