Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Schuylkill Hope Center Awarded Grant to Protect Victims of Domestic Abuse from Gun Violence

State Officials have announced a Schuylkill County organization has been awarded a grant to protect victims of domestic abuse from gun violence.
In a press release, Sen. Dave Argall (R-29) and Rep. Tim Twardzik (R-123) announced that the Schuylkill Hope Center was awarded a state grant for $689,070 from the Violence Intervention and Prevention program to support their work to protect victims of domestic abuse from gun violence.

“Tragically, gun violence is as prevalent in domestic violence situations as it currently is in all of society,” said Richard F. Wojciechowsky, the Executive Director of the Schuylkill Hope Center. “Most recent statistics show that in 2022 67% of Pennsylvania Domestic Violence homicide victims died from an offender’s use of a firearm.

“This grant will allow Schuylkill Hope Center to aggressively advocate for domestic violence victims in a new way by concentrating on the reduction of gun violence incidents,” Wojciechowsky continued. “Sen. Argall and all our county’s state house representatives are allies of our Executive Director and active supporters of the agency because they not only care about each domestic abuse victim, but they also realize the negative impact domestic abuse has on Schuylkill County as a whole.”

“The Schuylkill Hope Center has worked for decades to help our most vulnerable friends and neighbors escape from and cope with terrifying situations,” said Argall. “This highly competitive grant funding is well-deserved and will aid them with their important work for the Schuylkill County community.”

"Amidst the harrowing statistics of domestic violence, the Schuylkill Hope Center stands as a beacon of hope, dedicated to shielding victims from the deadly convergence of abuse and firearms,” said Twardzik. “This grant not only strengthens their initiatives but also underscores a vital commitment to community safety. I appreciate Sen. Argall’s efforts in helping to secure this vital funding.”

During the 2022-23 fiscal year, the Schuylkill Hope Center provided free and confidential counseling to over 1,300 victims of domestic abuse in Schuylkill County. They also provide both emergency and long-term housing to victims.

If you feel threatened by a loved one, their 24/7 hotline can be reached at 570-622-6220 or 800-282-0634. You can also text HOPELINE to 20121 to reach an agency representative.

This funding was awarded through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s School Safety and Security Committee. Argall was one of the prime sponsors of the legislation that created this program, after hosting ten public roundtables across the state regarding safe and secure learning environments for students and educators.