When thinking of the word oasis, what comes to mind? Relief. Comfort. Peace. Healing after weathering a harsh landscape. All of these words express the emotions felt from seeking solace at the appropriately named Oasis Women’s Shelter in Owensboro, Kentucky.
As a shelter for women and their children who are experiencing the atrocities of domestic violence, Oasis houses 60 women and children and focuses on empowering them through meeting basic needs, providing specialized services designed to improve their situations, eventually resulting in self-sufficiency and a fresh start. Its services include: financial literacy classes, domestic violence education, budgeting education, grief and loss counseling, life skills lessons, childcare, and both individual and group counseling for its clients.
In 2017, Oasis served over 500 clients and provided more than 30,000 services to empowering and rehabilitating battered women and their children. Since children who witness domestic violence are much more likely to commit it themselves, Oasis is dedicated to educating those children on how to break the cycle.
Serving the Green River Area Development District comprised of Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, McLean, Ohio, Union, and Webster Counties since 1980, this emergency shelter often hits and exceeds its maximum capacity.
“This time of year, we are at or above capacity,” said Interim Executive Director Tiffany Pearl.
Currently, Oasis is at capacity, with children accounting for 32 of its 60 residents.
“Our biggest need right now is making sure that the children in the shelter have a good Christmas,” Pearl shared.
Ensuring that all clients, women and children, have gifts for Christmas is a priority to the staff and volunteers at Oasis. Gifts could include personal care and hygiene items like pajamas, socks, gloves, lotions, shampoos, diapers, and other resources that are always needed and appreciated.
“Women usually come in with only the clothes on their back. They have no Social Security card or birth certificate,” Pearl said.
That’s where Oasis helps. Through the program, the shelter provides donated clothing and money to pay for these essentials, a way to apply for housing, and eventually, get a job and become self-reliant.
***Tammy experienced this rehabilitation and is now living on her own with her three children and attending college to study social work. She came to Oasis after a physical altercation with her husband that landed her in the hospital with a broken rib, two black eyes, and a concussion. Even though Tammy’s husband was arrested for fourth-degree assault, she was still terrified for the safety of her family.
Oasis helped Tammy obtain an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) and a Domestic Violence Order (DVO). Over the course of five months at Oasis, Tammy was able to achieve her GED, apply for housing, obtain housing, and provide for her family by completing the steps to get out of domestic violence.
Please visit the Oasis Shelter Facebook page for an updated list of needs.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any kind of domestic violence, don’t wait. Please call 270-685-0260.
***Editor’s note: Names and information have been changed to protect the client’s confidentiality. ***