Womenspace – a nonprofit that serves individuals and families who are victims of domestic abuse in southern Lane County – revealed a name change recently that better reflects its clients and mission, according to executive director Julie Weismann.
Now called the “Hope & Safety Alliance,” Weismann said the effort to rebrand the organization was a purposeful attempt to be more inclusive of people utilizing its services.
“So many people believe that we only provide services for women. And that’s just simply not true,” she said. “We’ve served men and folks who have multiple gender identities in our shelters, and there’s folks that just simply haven’t been feeling welcome. So we want to make sure that everybody feels welcome.”
Weismann said her team worked with veteran marketing expert Anne Marie Levis of Funk/Levis & Associates in Eugene on the new name and brand. “We did a number of different weekends with our staff and board. And we talked about what our values were, what we believed about ourselves, what we thought our mission was, what we thought other people believed about us.
“We realized that one of the things that we do provide is hope, and we definitely provide safety. So, and then the ‘alliance’ part is our commitment to continue to work with all these brilliant, amazing agencies in our county.”
Weismann said Creswell First!, the nonprofit that the City of Creswell uses to distribute and oversee charity giving, is an important part of the alliance.
“They give us money every year and sometimes two or three times a year to help survivors in the community and we’ve been able to help with rental assistance, moving costs, utilities, storage ... all kinds of stuff, for some of the residents of Creswell. It’s been a lovely partnership,” she said.
HSA leaders also posted a statement on their website explaining the change, with a nod to its origins.
“For 44 years we have worked to end domestic violence. We changed laws, we helped create new systems of support, we advocated for protection of women and children, and we provided shelter to thousands of survivors.
“Hope and Safety Alliance builds on the legacy of the fierce women who, in 1977, saw a need to create Womenspace to focus on this vital work.”
The new website, available in English and Spanish, is hopesafetyalliance.org.
The organization’s emergency 24-hour crisis and support hotline is 541-485-6513. A live chat is available online, too.