Guardian Angel Community Services empowers survivors of domestic assault to regain control of their lives and develop renewed ways of thinking that promote harmony and wellbeing. Through its Groundwork Domestic Violence Program, GACS provides emergency shelter, individual and group counseling, legal and medical advocacy, a 24-hour hotline and prevention education. These services are available to everyone who walks through their doors, regardless of background, income, or insurance.
For more than 120 years, GASC has been helping Joliet, IL residents overcome adversity and make positive, lasting change.
Susan came to the Groundwork program after calling the 24-hour hotline. She told a staff member that her husband of eight years has a bad temper that was only getting worse. He hit her on several occasions and was becoming forceful. Susan’s ability to get help for herself and her sons was impeded by her inability to access safe transportation.
County Prestress, through the Sonnentag Foundation, provided funds used to cover Susan’s transportation, which helped her access lifesaving services without endangering her. If Susan were to use a vehicle at home or public transportation, her husband could notice unaccounted milage changes or gas station and ATM charges.
After receiving emotional support and information about her rights under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, Susan decided to attend Groundwork’s Empowerment Group and bring her sons to the Children’s Group.
Shortly after, Susan and her oldest son, age 8, began individual counseling as well. It became evident that Susan’s son was experiencing significant effects of domestic abuse, including suicidal thoughts.
Groundwork counseling staff helped Susan find mental health services for her son. Meanwhile, her husband continued to exert power and control over the family by becoming angrier and more threatening.
Susan decided to activate the individual safety plan she created with her counselor. With her children, she left her husband and obtained an order of protection. Today, Susan and her sons are safe. Susan is employed, self-supporting, and pursuing her goal of buying a home.
County Prestress, through the Sonnentag Foundation, supports dozens of worthy organizations and causes in four services areas, including Hunger and Homelessness Support, Military Personnel and Veteran Support, Sexual Abuse and Domestic Assault Services, and Youth Mentoring and Skills Building.