24-Hour Hotline (631)329-2200
The Retreat > Articles by: retreatwebadmin

Community Generosity

Message from Executive Director Loretta K. Davis

Thank You 

So many of you have reached out to offer support and encouragement, thank you. It means so much to me and the entire staff at The Retreat.

While we can’t change what’s going on in the world, we can make a difference! For those who have suffered from abuse, the issues do not pause or take a break even during the declared National Emergency for COVID-19. In fact, those issues may become more difficult to manage.

Call if You or Someone You Know Needs Help: 24-Hour Hotline (631)329-2200

In this time of crisis, The Retreat is here for anyone in need of assistance. We want to be clear that the agency is not closed. To ensure clients are supported we have taken specific steps to maintain access for those in need:

  • The 24-hour Hotline is operational, with access to multiple languages. (631)329-2200 or Deaf Crisis Line at VP (321)800-3323
  • Our counselors are available for phone sessions.
  • Advocates are working remotely with clients and the courts. Orders of Protection are being still being granted by courts and enforced.
  • Our emergency shelter remains operational, with safety protocols in place.
  • Many of our administrative functions are being done by employees working from home. If you call the main office (631)329-4398, please leave a message and someone will return your call shortly or email info@theretreatinc.org.

More Ways to Help

If you would like to support Retreat families during this challenging time, please consider making a donation. Your support will help cover the cost of:

  • The expanded need for services as isolation and tensions rise. 
  • Food for our shelter and survivors who are struggling to cover essentials.
  • Basic hygiene items and deep cleanings which will help us protect our staff and clients.
  • Remote communication platforms for survivors.
  • Video conferencing tools for our staff.

You may donate online at www.allagainstabuse.org or text RETREAT to 91999.

With deep gratitude,

Loretta

Loretta K. Davis, Executive Director

We are still providing services. We are not closed. 

Call our hotline if you need help. (631) 329-2200

Too Much Togetherness

Survivors of domestic violence may be experiencing increased isolation and danger caused by confinement during the pandemic. Survivors often have specific needs around safety, health and confidentiality. We also realize that people who are already more vulnerable to economic and health insecurity are facing additional challenges during this unprecedented time. The Retreat is ready to help.

Are you close with someone who you know or suspect may be hurting and feeling more stress while in close quarters? Can you reach them to be a resource for comfort and listening? Consider sending a message like this: “I know things feel scary and stressful right now. Could we talk on the phone sometime later today so we can support each other and check in?”

Call if You or Someone You Know Needs Help

24-Hour Hotline (631)329-2200

In this time of crisis, The Retreat is here for you. We want to be clear that the agency is not closed. To ensure clients are supported we have taken specific steps to maintain access for those in need:

  • The 24-hour Hotline is operational, with access to multiple languages. (631)329-2200 or Deaf Crisis Line at VP (321)800-3323
  • Our counselors are available for phone sessions.
  • Advocates will continue to educate clients on their rights.
  • Our emergency shelter remains operational, with safety protocols in place.
  • Many of our administrative functions are being done by employees working from home. If you call the main office (631)329-4398, please leave a message and someone will return your call shortly or email info@theretreatinc.org.

Visit our website for an extensive list of resources: www.allagainstabuse.org

Court Status

By Susan Bereche, Retreat Attorney

In response to Governor Cuomo’s directive that 100% of non-essential employees work from home, as well as his temporary suspension of statutes of limitations and other time restrictions relating to litigation, most legal actions are suspended or adjourned for at least 90 days.  This means that only those cases deemed to be “essential” will proceed, many of them remotely.  Therefore, many parties to Family Court proceedings will have their cases rescheduled to a later date.

Any Order of Protection issued out of Family Court is still effective and will continue to be effective for at least 90 days.  Most court dates relating to cases where an Order of Protection has already been issued are being rescheduled by the court system to dates in May or later.   The court clerks will send notification to these parties directly unless the party was represented by an attorney on the last court date in which case the party’s attorney will receive notice on the party’s behalf.  

It is important to note that requests for Orders of Protection may still be made to Family Court.  Parties seeking an Order of Protection are encouraged to make the application remotely by utilizing video chat applications and programs or conference calls.  We, at The Retreat, can assist with such requests.

With regard to other Family Court proceedings, only the following cases remain on the court’s calendar:     a) neglect and removal proceedings brought by Child Protective Services through the Department of Social Services of Suffolk County;    b) proceedings against juvenile delinquents where remand or custody of the juvenile offender is requested; and    c) any emergency custody applications seeking a temporary restraining order or a writ directing that the child be brought before the court for a determination of an exigent issue as to custody or visitation.
Other issues of which to be aware:    

a) provisions of the Vehicle and Traffic Law relating to the renewal of a driver’slicense, non-driver identification or vehicle registration have been suspended with regard to those renewals that were required by March 1, 2020;   

b) documents may be notarized via video communications; and   

c) housing matters relating to certain actions by the landlord against the tenant are still being addressed by the courts; these include cases where the landlord has: locked out a tenant, has committed serious housing code violations, has ignored serious repair orders or has been awarded a judgment of possession and warrant of eviction against a tenant.

Message from Executive Director Loretta K. Davis

We are still providing services. We are not closed. 

Call our hotline if you need help. (631) 329-2200

We are carefully and proactively monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and its potential impact on our staff, our clients and our community. Safety and well-being are top priorities, as we continue to deliver the best possible services to those in need. We have instituted a number of precautions based on guidance from local and global public health organizations. As the situation evolves, we will continue implementing sustainable safeguards for our staff and clients.

Please be aware that we are using the guidance of the National Centers for Disease Control and the NYS Department of Health as our primary sources of information. You can access much of the same information by visiting www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019 and www.health.ny.gov.

Other measures implemented:

  • Enabling remote work with clients for direct service staff when possible.
  • Adding phones for our counselors for phone sessions, minimizing personal contact.
  • Facilitating advocate outreach to clients on Retreat cell phones.
  • Posting best practices are in offices, on entrance doors.
  • Communicating with staff about personal protective measures to practice at work and at home.
  • Putting in place an emergency communication plan to enable managers to reach their staff by text with updates, changes, questions.
  • Setting up computers for remote access.
  • Providing additional cleaning at offices and the shelter.
  • Putting in place visitor restriction to our offices and facilities.
  • Postponing non-essential professional and personal travel.
  • Forming a Crisis Team for rapid and thoughtful decisions and actions.
  • Reinforcing that anyone not feeling well will stay home

We are also evaluating our planned events, school programs and scheduled meetings to determine the best path forward, including postponing these functions or when able, converting to audio or videoconferencing. We are confident in our ability to manage this situation and look forward to continuing our work to change lives.

If you have any questions, please call 631-329-4398 or email ldavis@theretreatinc.org. Thank you.

With deep gratitude,

Loretta

Loretta K. Davis, Executive Director