Introducing Safe Stays Agency Spotlight, our latest effort to uplift the phenomenal work being done across the U.S. by the agencies that use Safe Stays.
This month we're featuring an interview with Justin Maslanka, Victim Services Coordinator at Ahimsa House, a nonprofit that works across the state of Georgia to help both people and their pets flee from domestic violence situations to safe emergency housing. Check out the full interview below:
What is the biggest challenge your agency faces while helping clients in crisis?
Our biggest challenge is finding pet friendly placement after regular business hours.
What does your agency specialize in?
Our program assists animal survivors of domestic violence in the state of Georgia with temporary housing, vet care, supplies, and more! This all starts with a local safety plan for the client and their pets.
How has Safe Stays by ReloShare impacted your work the most?
Safe Stays has made it seamless for us to book pet friendly hotels for clients as an after-hours safety option.
What is something most people don't know about your work, or something you'd like to increase awareness about in your industry?
Pets are an important part of the family, just like any other member of the household. Many clients will seek assistance for their pets before looking for shelter for themselves. Pets must be included in safety planning.
Have there been any specific instances where Safe Stays has directly helped you and/or a client?
One of our very first Safe Stay clients shared this quote with us that I think is extremely impactful:
"When I first got out and had nothing, you helped me with a night at a hotel with my babies. That made all the difference. Without your help, that was the kinda situation where I might have been forced to go back but you helped me out."
As an individual, what motivates you to help people in need on a day-to-day basis?
I'm personally motivated to use my skills to assist those who otherwise may not have been able to find assistance.
What does your agency do well that sets you apart from others?
We're the only program of this type in the State of Georgia, focusing on the pet side of safety planning.
How do you think your agency impacts your clients’ lives most?
We provide the clients peace of mind that their pets are safe so that they can focus on stabilizing themselves.
Ahimsa House is currently looking to raise $5,000 in ReloShare gift cards to support their cause of providing emergency stays for domestic violence survivors and their pets. Learn more by visiting their gift card page here.
For more information on Ahimsa House, visit their website at www.ahimsahouse.org