Non-Profit Spotlight: True North

Mission:
To provide safety, shelter, education and transitional support for those who have been affected by domestic or sexual violence and to empower all to create a safer community

What has your organization done that you’re most proud of?
We are most proud of True North’s responsiveness to the needs of survivors of domestic or sexual violence. True North continually enhances, redesigns, or restructures its service delivery to provide effective individualized services that meet or “better” current best practices and address survivor needs holistically (i.e., addressing the emotional, physical, spiritual, and educational needs of our clientele). To this end, the agency has established individualized training plans for staff, has implemented client surveys and suggestion box protocols, and has developed spaces within its non-residential offices and its emergency shelter to focus on key areas of growth. In 2018, for example, the agency created a Skills Development Center to meet client educational needs, a Serenity Room to help clients meet spiritual and emotional needs, and a new backyard area to better meet physical needs. True North also developed key community partnerships to maximize the opportunities for our clientele to flourish. Partnerships include MedZou who provides free monthly on-site health screenings for shelter residents; individual volunteers who provide organized yoga and meditation classes, members of Columbia’s spiritual community (from a variety of denominations and faiths) who volunteer their time to provide onsite faith-based counsel; members of the financial community who facilitate budgeting and financial management educational sessions for shelter residents, etc. In short, True North works hard to remain aware of and responsive to the changing and variable needs of survivors.

What are some ways that individuals can get involved?
Volunteers for True North have a variety of opportunities to provide assistance. Direct service Volunteers may provide child care or children’s program assistance, hotline services, shelter services, and hospital or court advocacy services. Direct service volunteers must complete a 48 hour True North training program prior to working with survivors on their own, however. If volunteers would like to get involved but do not wish to provide direct services, short term and on-going projects are also available. These may include helping with one-time or sporadic maintenance or beautification projects (landscaping, indoor and exterior painting projects, room makeovers, administrative support, etc.) or ongoing projects like organizing in-kind donations and inventory.

What is your volunteer application process (info and link)?
All volunteers for True North must complete an online application (found at our website at www.truenorthofcolumbia.org). Direct service volunteers must also complete the 48 hour training course.

What’s one thing you would want everyone to know about your non-profit?
All True North services are free, are voluntary (survivors can pick and choose which services they access), and available to victims of domestic or sexual violence regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, spiritual belief, language, citizenship status, etc.

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