Today, at the 23rd Annual International Family Justice Center Conference in San Diego, the founders of Alliance for HOPE International, Casey Gwinn and Gael Strack, announced a merger with the largest online resource for survivors of domestic violence, DomesticShelters.org.
Alliance for HOPE International will assume responsibility for managing the website of DomesticShelters.org and its multiple additional programs, including the Purple Ribbon Awards, through a partnership with Theresa's Fund. Theresa's Fund created DomesticShelters.org in 2014 and developed it into a vital resource for survivors and advocates in the United States and Canada.
"Anytime organizations and services can blend together to improve results for survivors and those in the community working to help them, it is something that must be explored," said Casey Gwinn, President of Alliance for HOPE International. "We began our discussions by first evaluating how combining efforts could make a difference and the result was overwhelmingly in favor of becoming one entity."
The DomesticShelters.org leadership team — including Ashley Rumschlag, CEO/President, Executive Director; Rita Smith, Vice President of External Relations; Hannah Craig, Vice President of Content; Amanda Kippert, Editor-in-Chief; and Rachael Myers, Senior Digital Services Specialist — will all join Alliance for HOPE International and continue in their roles.
"We've collaborated with Casey and Gael for many years. We've discovered over time that our organizations, our ways of thinking, and our commitment to innovation are so similar, and our discussions about merging confirmed and strengthened these bonds," added Chris McMurry, Chairman of Theresa's Fund, which has been supporting domestic violence and sexual assault causes since 1992. "The team members in both organizations are invigorated by what we're learning from each other, and the incredible potential for how we see it all translating into the world of offering hope and healing to survivors and training to professionals."
An example of how the merger can have a multiplier effect, added Rumschlag, is in the law enforcement space. “Alliance for HOPE International trains tens of thousands of law enforcement officers every year across the United States and around the world. Making law enforcement officers, who are on the front lines of stopping domestic violence, more aware of DomesticShelters.org will get our substantial resources from the website into the hands of more people needing them.”
Alliance CEO Gael Strack, put it this way: “DomesticShelters.org has a much larger online presence than the Alliance does. We do far more in-person training and consulting. Together, we both magnify the hope and healing we offer.”
"When organizations work together to provide high-quality and accessible services, domestic violence and sexual assault survivors can find the help they need to heal and move forward. Alliance for HOPE International and DomesticShelters.org are coming together to reach even more people in need. By combining our resources, we can create an even stronger network to help survivors escape abuse, heal from trauma, and rebuild their lives," said Rumschlag.
About Alliance for HOPE International
Alliance for HOPE International is one of the leading systems and social change organizations in the country focused on creating innovative, collaborative, trauma-informed, hope-centered approaches to meeting the needs of survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, elder abuse, and human trafficking. Our programs focus on increasing measurable Hope, Resiliency, Safety, and Well-Being in the lives of children and adults. The Alliance programs serve more than 200,000 adult and child survivors of domestic and sexual violence every year in the United States and around the world. For more information about the Alliance, go to www.allianceforhope.org.
DomesticShelters.org was founded In 2014, by Arizona-based Theresa's Fund, before merging with Alliance for HOPE International in 2023. DomesticShelters.org is the first online searchable database of programs and shelters in the U.S./Canada and a leading source of helpful tools and information for people experiencing and working to end domestic violence. It is also the host of the Purple Ribbon Awards, the first comprehensive awards program honoring the countless heroes of the domestic violence movement, including advocates, programs, shelters, survivors and members of the community support system. Learn more at DomesticShelters.org.