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The spirit of resiliency, courage, and commitment to survivors and safety is what First Step is all about. First Step has been growing, adapting, and working to keep survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and their families safe since the agency started in 1978. That did not stop when the pandemic hit, though. They've continued to remain available to survivors during this health crisis and keep staff, clients, volunteers, and their community partners safe.
Since its opening over 43 years ago, First Step has been working for peaceful families and safe communities in Southeast Michigan. First Step is Wayne County's comprehensive service provider for individuals and families impacted by domestic and sexual violence. First Step's free, confidential, and trauma-informed programs help survivors and their families overcome the lack of intervention and support, feelings of powerlessness, isolation, danger, and fear, and the financial, emotional, and cultural barriers that victims of violence often face when seeking help. Services include but are not limited to: a 24-hour helpline, crisis intervention, and assault response; emergency shelter and transitional housing for families and pets impacted by violence; counseling, advocacy, and support groups for adults and children; and community education, outreach, and in-service training.
Annually, First Step serves 8,000 survivors thanks to their committed staff and expansive programs. There are many organizations similar to First Step, however, First Step is unique. From their dedication to being client-centered and advocating using an empowerment-based model to their commitment to anti-oppression work, First Step stands against violence of all forms and works hard every day to build a better and safer future for their community. Most recently, they are working to support and understand how systems of oppression affect their staff and clients. First Step has committed to being an anti-oppression agency, and currently is undergoing a strategic planning process that includes an agency audit and recommendations for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion work. First Step fights for justice and equity for all.