United Way improves and promotes the physical and mental health of our community. We strive to increase the number of healthy youth and adults and have them avoid risky behaviors. Thirty-one percent of United Way of Southeast Mississippi’s overall community investment is devoted to health-related programs.
Community Investment Partners in this area include:
The Arc (Association for Rights of Citizens with Developmental Disabilities)
The Arc provides many services to individuals with mental retardation and other disabilities and their families.
Domestic Abuse Family Shelter
This organization offers temporary shelter, counseling and a variety of other services to victims of domestic violence, along with prevention programs to the community.
D.R.E.A.M. of Hattiesburg (Drug-free Resources for Education and Alternatives in Mississippi)
DREAM provides drug and alcohol awareness and prevention and an after-school enrichment program to help youth and families lead healthy, drug-free lifestyles.
The Family YMCA
The Family YMCA's programs emphasize physical fitness and healthy lifestyles.
Pinebelt Association for Families
This organization offers health, nutrition, recreational and support programs for families in which grandparents or other relatives are raising grandchildren.
Shafer Center for Crisis Intervention
The Shafer Center provides support, counseling and referral for victims of sexual violence, homicide and families of suicide victims.
South Mississippi Children’s Center
This shelter offers temporary housing and support for abused, neglected, runaway and homeless children.
Domestic Abuse Family Shelter
The Domestic Abuse Family Shelter improves the mental and emotional health for victims of domestic violence. Day after day, the staff are there around the clock to meet the needs of those in distress in our community.
During the summer of 2013, the shelter staff received a call from a police department in a neighboring community indicating there was a foreign woman and her young child at the police station. The woman had been badly beaten, and her abuser was about to bond out of jail. The woman was terrified. A shelter representative was about to drive to pick up the woman, but the police officer said the situation was too dangerous. The officer transported the mother and child to Hattiesburg to meet the shelter staff there.
They arrived shortly afterward, and the woman and child were brought to the shelter. The staff called a local church to obtain a translator. Through the translator, it was discovered that the woman had been given enough money to fly to another state where she had family. The woman was convinced that her abuser knew this and would attempt to stop her at the Jackson airport. The shelter worker contacted the Jackson airport and notified security of the situation. She then transported the woman and her child to the airport. The airport was covered by many security officers, and no incident occurred. The woman and her child were able to fly safely to family in the other state.
The police officer had been trained by the Domestic Abuse Family Shelter staff not long before this incident happened. It was her quick-thinking and the quick-thinking of the staff member that ensured everyone's safety. Thanks to Domestic Abuse Family Shelter and the support it receives from your United Way donations, lives are saved every day!