For Women Against Abuse (WAA), Philadelphia’s leading domestic violence prevention and service agency, the coronavirus has led them to rethink nearly every aspect of its operations. In the near term, the organization maintains two critical 100-bed emergency safe havens and transitional housing, all while working to keep residents socially distanced and safe. At the same time, the organization must maintain and provide legal assistance remotely, and come up with safe ways to promote and support its important community hotline. “To help people during the coronavirus, we’ve certainly had to really pivot,” says WAA Executive Director and President Jeannine Lisitski. “I’m so thankful our teams have been creative and engaged.”
Still, costs have increased by more than $50,000 a week to cover personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies and packaging for meal deliveries, as well as additional pay for the front line workers. To help meet this need, Bank of America gave Women Against Abuse a $50,000 grant, part of the bank’s $100 million in philanthropic support to address health and humanitarian needs related to the coronavirus, which is in addition to $250 million in philanthropy the bank gives annually.