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Ion Center Receives $50,000 Grant to Support Shelter, Therapy

The Ion Center was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

Formerly known as the Women's Crisis Center, the Covington-based agency will use the grant to support the safe shelter of victims fleeing what it calls power-based personal violence in the region, and also to increase access to mental health services.

Providing healthy safe shelter continues to be a challenge in congregate care settings, the Ion Center said in a news release.

The funding from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation would provide 50 to 80 nights of shelter in local hotels, allowing for social distancing and public health, and 350 to 500 hours of therapy.

“Everything we do at Ion is either preventing violence from happening or from getting worse. At the root of power-based personal violence is a loss of power," said Christy Burch, Ion Center CEO, said in a news release. "In working with survivors of trauma, they experience a complete loss of control due to abuse. We operate all services and programs through three levels of prevention: primary prevention, secondary prevention and tertiary prevention. Not only are we trying to help those who have already been impacted, but to keep it from ever happening in the first place.”

In 2020, the Ion Center provided 13,083 safe bed nights in their 24/7 emergency shelters and 531 bed nights in hotels due to COVID, a news release said.

Ion served 39,249 meals and provided 6,087 hours of counseling, it said.

“Forty-six years as a foundational community agency, coupled with our commitment to prevention and inclusion, helps prevent further acts of power-based personal violence and creates lasting community change,” said Burch.

The grant would also ensure that vulnerable residents in the region have access to food and shelter through two emergency shelters and will increase access mental health services, the announcement said.

Services at the Ion Center remain free.

“We want Ion to be safe and affirming, and we recognize it may be difficult for many reasons to walk through the door," Burch said. "Providing options for therapists in the community can be an extension of care and support that we strive to offer. This grant allows us to remove barriers for more survivors in our community by offering more safe bed nights and additional much needed expansion of therapy services.”

-Staff report