Portal To Hope (“PTH”) is an award-winning, nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive services to people whose lives have been impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking crimes. Founded by a survivor of violent crime in 1996 through the help of two Catholic churches, the Immaculate Conception Parish in Malden and St. Mary’s Parish in Lynn, PTH brought together a group of survivors and community leaders who pursued change within the criminal justice system to provide additional safety measures and services to victims and their families. Working on a grassroots level to educate the public about the consequences of domestic violence and the crime’s impact on not only individual and family lives but also its impact on the workplace, in school environments and to our communities-at-large, PTH was called-upon to meet other community demands and to provide the following services: (i) Benevolence Project; (ii) Crisis Intervention and Emergency Shelter; (iii) Legal Aid and Advocacy for Victims in the courts; (iv) neighborhood Support Groups; and (v) Youth Programs.
Portal To Hope was later asked to support local agencies concerned with ending violence, including city government and law enforcement who were battling increased incidents of domestic violence crime. PTH developed the Healing & Recovery Program that would not only respond to victims facing crises but would help victims to establish safety plans, learn independent living and job skills, and rebuild their sense of purpose and self-worth.
In 1998, Portal To Hope partnered with the City of Everett and Everett Police to create a unique victim advocacy service onsite at the Everett Police Department. The first relationship of its kind in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Everett Victim Advocacy Project (“EVAP”) was awarded by the United States Conference of Mayors for its outstanding achievement in improving city livability. EVAP is considered a model for other communities to adopt, and its extended efforts in support of neighboring law enforcement agencies via PTH have helped to reduce recidivism rates of domestic violence crime by nearly 32% over the last ten years in the tri-city area of Everett, Malden and Medford, Massachusetts.
In 2001, the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Campus of Hallmark Health provided PTH with office space in order to address victim services in the Medford community. PTH supports medical staff to ensure that victims have access to helpful neighborhood services, and the partnership is committed to improving the mental and physical health of victims and cultivating a quality of community life that is free from domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking
Understanding that education is the key to ending violence, PTH coordinates numerous violence prevention trainings and free, public educational events. PTH’s in-demand Speakers Bureau has special expertise in educating youth and encouraging their leadership in the cause to end abuse, and the organization’s youth programs have been reported in editions of “Report To The Nation; America’s Promise – The Alliance For Youth”. PTH offers an 11th Grade Summer Internship Program in partnership with the Everett Police Department and offers Erin’s Project in partnership with the Malden YMCA to young women ages fifteen to eighteen whose lives have been impacted by family and/or teen dating violence.
The very word “portal” in the organization’s name identifies that behind PTH’s door is hope and opportunity for victims to rebuild their lives following the aftermath of crime. PTH’s goal is to offer victims a chance at safer, happier, healthier lives by encouraging them to recognize their own strength and leadership in the cause to end abuse.
Portal To Hope relies heavily on its volunteers and partner agencies to serve victims and their families in Everett, Malden, & Medford.