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JBWS Honors the William E. Simon Foundation

When the William E. Simon Foundation started supporting JBWS, we were barely more than a shelter and a helpline. In fact, we had only stopped housing clients in volunteer’s personal homes just a few years prior. By investing more than 2.7 million dollars into JBWS’ operations, the Simon Foundation has allowed JBWS to develop comprehensive programming to assist those impacted by domestic violence and prevent abuse at its source.

 

Today, with the help of the Simon Foundation, JBWS has grown into a multi-faceted organization that has sheltered or counseled 113,000 adults, educated more than 487,000 teenagers, and answered over 227,000 helpline calls. But statistics alone could never adequately capture the impact this foundation has had on our clients.

 

Child survivors of domestic violence have been able to reclaim the carefree nature of childhood because the Simon Foundation invested in the construction of a playground at Arbour House, JBWS’ Emergency Safe House, and supported renovations to our children’s program and playroom in the Carol G. Simon House, a Transitional Living Resource Center. These upgrades have allowed JBWS children to safely play, possibly for the first time in their lives.

 

“I no longer had to play the role of caretaker for my siblings, that was the staff’s job,” says one former child resident. “I could focus on my artwork, run around outside until I dropped with exhaustion, and play table games in the kitchen.”

 

The Simon Foundation helped transform our shelter into a large, comfortable home by supporting a capital campaign to renovate and expand Arbour House. The 5,700 square foot addition not only added bedrooms, a living room, dining room, childcare room, and private counseling rooms, it provided spaces for families to unwind, share meals, and begin to heal together.

 

No JBWS client will have to face their abusive partners alone in court because of generous donors like the Simon Foundation who supported the development of our Morris Family Justice Center (MFJC). In 2023 alone, the MFJC provided safety planning, court accompaniment, advocacy, and crisis counseling to 1,142 people impacted by domestic violence, dating abuse, human trafficking, and sexual assault.

 

However, the Simon Foundation’s enduring support for JBWS is most prominently reflected in the Carol G. Simon House, a Transitional Living Resource Center. The Simon Foundation made the initial leadership pledge that started the campaign to raise the funds to build Simon House and has supported the development of services within the building ever since.

 

Inspired by the vision of the late Carol G. Simon, who contributed a $1,000,000 endowment gift toward the program, the Simon House ensures that no survivor of domestic violence will be forced to choose between becoming homeless or returning to their abusive partner. The 28,000 square foot facilities opened in the late 1990s and has 11 fully furnished apartments, where survivors of domestic violence can live for up to two years through JBWS’ Transitional Living Program (TLP). Residents have access to counseling, professional development, financial management, parenting classes, and services for children.

 

For Carmen, the Simon House calmed her anxieties about finding a place to live. She moved in just 10 days before giving birth to her third child. The facility also provided housing for Jasmine as she finished college, freed herself of debt, and found a steady income. “In one year, I found a full-time job with benefits, started a savings account and budget plan, improved my parenting skills, found an apartment for my family, and, in the process, found myself.”

 

For each client referenced, there are thousands more that the Simon Foundation has helped. Because of their generosity, JBWS can provide safety, support, and solutions to those impacted by domestic violence through our 24-Helpline, the Arbour House, the Simon House, the MFJC, teen dating abuse prevention program, community education, and our abuse prevention counseling program.

 

The Simon Foundation’s funding and support has changed the trajectory of countless lives and have made our communities safer.

 

In accordance with the expressed wishes of its benefactor, the late William E. Simon, the William E. Simon Foundation has sunsetted its grantmaking programs. Since the Foundation was founded in 1967, nearly $290 million in gifts have been made. The Board is grateful to the grantees for their work helping others and furthering the ideals in which Mr. Simon believed – access to an excellent education, promoting strong families, self-reliance, and the importance of faith and patriotism.