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Board of Directors experiences FSS of MFSD

Each year, Metropolitan board members travel to see firsthand one of the many programs Metropolitan offers. Led by Board Chair Mike Vardas and Vice Chair Ashley Joyce, this year’s board tour took us to Family Shelter Service of Metropolitan Family Services DuPage (FSS of MFSD), to experience the domestic violence and housing programming FSS of MFSD provides in DuPage County.

Learn more about FSS of MFSD here.

Twenty-two board members heard from several key staff on myths about domestic violence, recognizing signs of domestic abuse, and the impact of FSS of MFSD’s programming on the 2,000 individuals it serves.

Speaking about the challenges and opportunities in DuPage, Rita Lopez Brosnan, Executive Director of Metropolitan DuPage, and Judie Caribeaux, Metropolitan’s Senior Director of Strategy and Innovation and former Executive Director of Family Shelter Service, shared the increasing need for domestic violence services to be integrated with Metropolitan’s other services.

Twenty year organization veteran Betsy Carlson, FSS of MFSD’s Safe Connections Coordinator, explained the life-saving hotline that serves over 11000 callers per year, and walked board members through the experiences of the 2,000+ survivors served each year by FSS of MFSD.

In addition, the board heard from WGN’s Steve Cochran via a video on the importance of FSS of MFSD’s services, which includes Steve’s own experiences with domestic violence, and a 911 call. View the video here.

Domestic Violence Program Director Lisa Horne, led a tour of the shelter itself, highlighting the safe and secure space. The shelter offers 41 beds along with kitchen and living space, in addition to housing FSS of MFSD’s hotline services, counseling rooms for groups and individuals, and the Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment (SMART) Room (an active therapy in a room allowing for movement and play) for children’s counseling. In addition, the group saw a “before” view of the protected outdoor area, soon to be improved with a new playground thanks to support from Discover Financial & Kaboom.