If you’ve been following our newsletters from the start, you will remember the survivor who said that “going into Grants Pass for help might as well have been the moon.” Fourteen years and over 6000 survivors later, it’s still true. Community-based advocacy services save lives in rural areas.
Once upon a time, services in Josephine and Jackson counties were limited to a hotline housed in Jackson County. Then in 1974 Josephine County started their own hotline; both programs now have shelters, but there were either no supportive services or they were very limited in the Illinois Valley. It was because of this void that the Illinois Valley Safe House Alliance opened its doors and has managed to keep those doors open—with a lot of help from our friends and supporters.
In order to raise awareness of our services and the need for them, the staff and board of the Alliance are organizing a walk—from our advocacy center to Grants Pass. It’s 30 miles and includes Hays Hill that locals joke only runs one way—from Cave Junction to Grants Pass. It’s a joke, but it’s not funny.
So, we’re calling it The Walk. The t-shirts will show a photo of a woman walking down the highway with a lot of road behind her and still more to go in front of her. The t-shirts will say, “I walk The Walk so she never has to.” We’re keeping the walk small this year, mostly staff and board members. We’re keeping it small because none of us have ever walked a walk like this, so we want to know what we’re dealing with before we open it up to more people we are responsible for keeping safe. The date for The Walk is Saturday, October 11th.
If you’d like to help, we need volunteers to staff the two aid stations, shop for water and food, drive trucks with the two port-a-potties, and a car or van to pick up weary walkers. Another way you can help is to sponsor one of the walkers. We have a $2,400 match for every dollar we raise, so this could be a significant fundraiser.
When we have more details on the end spot and approximate time we’ll let you know. Maybe you’d like to be there to cheer us on?