CONTINUING TO MAKE HISTORY
a letter from the Board Chair
This year will go down in history as one of the most challenging for the agency as COVID reared its ugly head in our community, in our nation, and across the globe. The magnitude of this public health crisis was unexpected and we, as a community, were unprepared for how widespread and enduring the threat of COVID would be. Over two years later, we remain on guard and are evaluating the devastating impact on the health of our clients, employees, and community. Global data indicates that domestic abuse has, since January of 2020 spiked year over year compared to the same period in 2019. And despite the pandemic, we continue to deliver our services and be there for survivors and the community. While we pivoted to working remotely for the safety of the public and our staff, we are proud that our programs and services never stopped. The Shelter and 24-hour Hotline remained in operation — without interruption and various forms of technology allowed us to maintain contact and engagement with our clients and to connect with new clients seeking help.
When the agency’s story began back in 1971 — a time when very little support and resources existed for survivors, Bea Robinson Mendez and her friends pioneered a hotline and emergency shelter. While stepping into the unknown, they began a trend of support and programs that would spread across the state and the country. Fifty years later, Next Door Solutions continues to pioneer important efforts in Santa Clara County, including:
- Promoting the Domestic Violence and Healthcare Partnership Initiative, which provides training and technical assistance for health care systems and clinics to enable effective, trauma-informed screenings, with an emphasis on how to discuss domestic violence with patients and how to make referrals to appropriate services so those patients who are experiencing domestic violence can access the support they need.
- Advancing the Promotores Model (Community Health Worker) to provide education and awareness in Latinx and multicultural communities about domestic violence; its impacts on individuals, families, and health, and to better connect those
communities with appropriate resources.
- Launching a Prevention Initiative: Coaching Boys into Men, which is a curriculum to promote healthy relationship behaviors among high school athletes.
- Introducing Families for Peace, counseling services based on the ‘whole family’ framework where support is provided for the survivor, children, and the person who harms.
I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to Esther PeralezDieckmann for her five years of leadership to Next Door Solutions and her service to our community. During her tenure, Next Door Solutions has thrived and evolved, establishing new and innovative partnerships for prevention efforts. She leaves the agency in a strong position to carry on the critical work of reducing the number of people who will experience an abusive relationship in their lifetime. We are excited for Esther as she transitions into a key role with Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren’soffice. And, we have begun the process of finding a new leader to continue our trajectory of expanding services to survivors.
As we move into our next fifty years, we are grateful for the unprecedented level of support from our community, the trust of our clients and their families, and an outstanding team of advocates who are unrivaled in Silicon Valley. We invite you to connect with us and to join us as we recommit to ending domestic violence in the moment… and for all time!