Hope Shores Alliance receives $5,600 from DTE Foundation

News Photo by Darby Hinkley Hope Shores Alliance recently received a check for $5,600 from DTE Energy Foundation. Pictured from left to right are HSA board members Beth Lang and Belinda Page, HSA Executive Director Valerie Williams, DTE Energy Regional Manager of Corporate and Government Affairs Carla Gribbs, and HSA board member Deb Zejac.

ALPENA — Hope Shores Alliance recently received a $5,600 check from DTE Energy Foundation.

“We are one of the Michigan DV Shelters who are receiving this generous gift of funding to support our shelter operations,” said HSA Executive Director Valerie Williams.

All 44 of Michigan’s state-funded domestic violence shelters were eligible for one-time grants totaling $400,000 from the DTE Energy Foundation. The dollar amount awarded to each shelter was determined by the number of beds it has for domestic violence survivors.

On Feb. 27, Williams and several board members received the check from Carla Gribbs, DTE Energy regional manager of Corporate and Government Affairs.

“The DTE Energy Foundation has supported domestic violence shelters in the past,” Gribbs said. “This year is something different, because there was an employee who actually has been working and teaching a class on the subject, and brought it up to the Foundation president.”

She said discussions began and the proposal was taken to the DTE Foundation board of directors.

“They said ‘Let’s go across the state,'” Gribbs said. “It’s the first time we’ve done it.”

“We had to answer a couple of really brief questions, but it was the easiest application I’ve ever done,” Williams said.

She is very grateful for DTE Energy Foundation’s support.

“You provide such an important service,” Gribbs told Williams. “We want to provide encouragement and inspiration for organizations like yours … I was fortunate enough to hear a survivor’s story recently, and she did nothing wrong, but she had the help of an organization like yours … somebody was there every step of the way. It was life-changing.”

Williams said this past year the safe house had a 1,000-bed-night increase, with 3,500 bed nights. The need is great, and there’s always more work to do. If there is no room at the time, HSA will transport survivors to the nearest available shelter. So the money will be put to good use, she said.

“We serve five counties,” Williams said. “We serve the largest geographical area in Michigan here.”


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