The Milford Senior Center hosted breakfast and entertainment again this year for all those that came out to celebrate the 14th annual People’s Place Choral Breakfast. The morning of December 7 was filled with vocal, instrumental and dance entertainment provided by The Delaware Music School, Tatiana Akinfieva Dance Academy, First State Dance Academy, Milford Community Band and the Milford High School and Central Academy Chorus. Participants also had the opportunity to shop with local vendors who brought an array of items to purchase. A visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus was the highlight of the morning for children.
The annual events raises awareness for People’s Place, a local non-profit organization that assists social and mental health needs of Delaware residents and facilitates the provision of services to address those needs. People’s Place began in 1972 by a group of concerned Milford residents who established a volunteer run drop-in center for youth. Forty years later, People’s Place now has 11 programs and more than 15 locations throughout Delaware, serving approximately 9,000 Delawareans each year and employing 175 full- and part-time staff members.
Kim Rigby, Manager of Communications at People’s Place, is thankful for the sponsors and those that attended the breakfast, which helped the organization raise over $10,000. “People’s Day helps to bring the community together to celebrate the holiday season,” said Rigby. “Although it is a fundraiser for the organization, the sole purpose is to make people aware of the services and resources available in their area.”
In addition to the 11 services People’s Place provides, they also assist specific needs for individuals through three domestic violence shelters, a homeless shelter and transitional housing units. With a focus on domestic violence, the organization assists victims by giving them a place where they can receive counseling and be provided with a myriad of resources. The awareness of these services are particularly
important as many times victims of domestic violence have difficulty seeking help.
“Sometimes victims can feel as if the abuse is their fault,” said Rigby. “because of the control in the relationship, they are led to believe that if they had did something different
they could have avoided the abuse.” According Rigby, statistics show that on average, it takes victims of domestic abuse seven times before they leave as the average victim is physically hit 45 times.
Through their high-quality services, People’s Place provides an environment that promotes dignity, empowerment, independence, safety, self-esteem and self-sufficiency. People’s Place identifies social and mental health needs and facilitates the provision of services to address those needs including counseling for children and adults, job search and accessing training, educational planning, housing assistance, money management, social skills, and accessing community resources.
“People’s Place provides a place where people can gain tool and resources as well as self-confidence and empowerment,” said Rigby. “We help them find strength within themselves.”
In 2013 in Delaware, police responded to 23,985 domestic violence incidents, according to the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence, as 566 women and children received shelter services in domestic services shelters. Rigby states that it is important for all members of the community to spread awareness not only about domestic violence but the resources for victims. Individuals are encouraged to visit People’s Place online at http://peoplesplace2.com for more information or contact the organization at 302-422-8033. Victims of domestic violence can call the Domestic Violence Hotline, which provides 24-hour crisis intervention, counseling services and related services, by dialing 211 or 302-422-8058 in Kent and Sussex Counties.