Sixty Chicago Bears staff and alumni joined the staff of A Safe Place on Friday, June 23 to remodel the emergency shelter and help provide beautiful, calming spaces for domestic violence families in crisis.
“What you are doing today is so important for the families we serve,” said Pat Davenport, Executive Director of A Safe Place, before playing a recorded 911 call of a 6-year old girl watching her father hurt her mother in front of her two younger siblings. “Families come here with little hope and with only the clothes on their backs.”
After the short presentation, Bears staff and alumni, led by Chairman George H. McCaskey, began ripping out carpet and painting walls in the ten bedrooms of the shelter, digging fence holes in the backyard, and demolishing the communal kitchen. Former Bears players Jason McKie, Adrian Peterson, Garrett Wolfe, and Mickey Pruitt also lent their muscle to breaking down large shelves and tables.
“They did amazing. Now the rooms are looking beautiful. The rooms had not been painted in almost 25 years and they actually removed all the carpet as well. It looks just wonderful.”
A Safe Place is the sole provider of services exclusively focusing on domestic violence victims in Lake County, Illinois. Through multi-faceted programs, A Safe Place assists victims and their children in transforming their lives after domestic violence, prevents future abuse by addressing its root cause through abuser intervention programs, and educates the community about domestic violence and how we can all be involved in its end. Last year, A Safe Place served over 13,000 community members.
The Chicago Bears have partnered with A Safe Place since 1998, generously volunteering volunteers, financial support, and moral support each year. Last year the Bears helped construct a playground at the Zion transitional housing facility so the children would not have to walk over a mile to get to the nearest playground.
Founded in 1978, A Safe Place is the leading advocate for eliminating domestic violence in northern Illinois, and is Lake County, Illinois’ only provider of services exclusively for victims of domestic violence. A Safe Place provides emergency shelter, permanent housing, a 24-hour crisis line (847-249-4450), court and non-legal advocacy, individual, group, and children’s counseling, art therapy, family visitation services, batterer intervention services; and community outreach, prevention education, and professional training. Our service area includes Lake, McHenry, and northern Cook counties in Illinois; however, our clients come to us from across the state, region, and country.