CRC English Tea Party to help victims of domestic violence, homelessness

Local residents have the opportunity to sip tea and munch on scones and other foods for a good cause April 1.

The Community Resource Center (CRC), which has offices in Encinitas and has been serving North County since 1979, will host its 22nd annual English Tea event from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. that day at the Encinitas Community Center, 1140 Oakcrest Park Drive.

The event benefits the CRC’s mission to promote self-sufficiency, stability and safety.

Event Chair Patricia Moore considers it a fundraising and educational event. It is used as a way to bring information about domestic violence to the community.

The day, emceed by Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist Peggy Pico, will include an address from the keynote speaker, Chief Deputy District Attorney Summer Stephan, who has served appointments as Chief of the DA’s North County Branch and Chief of the Sex Crimes and Human Trafficking Division.

As a trial prosecutor, Stephan tried more than 100 jury trials, including special circumstance homicides, sexually violent predators, child molestation, sexual assault, child abuse, school shooting, assault on peace officers, and human trafficking-related cases.

The English Tea event annually raises about $50,000 for the CRC’s programs. Much of the funding will go toward the center’s domestic violence program, officials said.

“If you knew someone who was experiencing domestic violence, where would you turn for help?” said CRC’s CEO Isabel St.Germain Singh, in a statement. “CRC provides safety and stability for households in crisis from domestic violence, as well as education programs and counseling that aid in the prevention of such violence. The annual English Tea provides necessary funding so that CRC can continue to meet the needs of those coming to us for help.”

In 2016, CRC’s domestic violence program served 143 households, including 124 children, through their Carol’s House domestic violence shelter, transitional housing, counseling and therapeutic programs, officials said. Additionally, 98 percent of CRC’s domestic violence program households did not return to their abusers in Fiscal Year 2015-2016.

The CRC’s domestic violence hotline in 2015 and 2016 also received almost 2,000 calls, said Heather Johnson, the CRC’s domestic violence program coordinator.

The women are then referred to different agencies or CRC’s services, including Carol’s House and transitional housing.

Moore said many of the women become known to the CRC before they reach out for help because of the center’s educational and outreach programs.

“At some point, a woman makes a decision to leave her abuser,” Moore said. “We don’t always get the same women because sometimes we will help them be placed out-of-area because it’s safer for them.”

Accepted women can spend between 45 and 60 days at Carol’s House — and in a case-by-case situation, can be extended to 90 days — where they work with counselors to help the women get back on their feet, Johnson said.

Offerings for the women at the CRC include financial counseling, nutrition and food support, help to get food stamps and help to see if they qualify for any kind of aid.

“When the women are in the shelter, we offer them the whole range of the classes that we offer to the community,” Moore said. “Often, these women have been so overshadowed by their abuser that they don’t have a checkbook, credit card or job skills.”

Johnson also noted the center’s nationally-recognized therapeutic children’s center.

“It’s a place where a kid can be a kid, where they don’t have to worry about what mom is doing and if she’s OK,” Johnson said. “They can kind of be in their own world and play.”

Domestic Violence Program participants are also provided transitional housing at a lower rental cost and are able to continue receiving concurrent services.

The CRC also helps homeless people and offers counseling on a sliding scale, tax preparation services and mailing addresses.

“Our mission is more to prevent homelessness,” Moore said. “If a family is having to choose between living in their car and having nutritious food, they can enroll in our food program ... We offer all of those services people need to remain a real person. Once you slide into homelessness, it’s really hard to get back ... We’re large enough to make an impact, but flexible enough to meet the needs of the community.”

English Tea event officials are still seeking auction items and sponsorships. Anyone who wants to get involved should call Moore at 858-775-3955.

Tickets for the event are available through March 20 at www.crcncc.org/event/englishtea.

Tickets are $75 for general admission — including tea sandwiches, scones, sweets and tea — and $800 for an eight-seat VIP champagne table that includes lunch and desserts, as well as preferred seating, tableside champagne service and recognition in the event program.

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