WGA regards its periodic site visits as a collaborative process. WGA learns how we can improve outcomes for our community, while agencies can discuss areas of success as well as challenges. Sometime site visits have a dramatic influence on WGA members as well.
Dr. Barbara Sharp is a radiologist for Baptist Health while Kirsten Martino is a mother of three young children and co-owner of a family restaurant business. Both are WGA members and volunteers for the WGA Grants Evaluation Team. Together, they were assigned to conduct a site visit for Hubbard House, the domestic violence shelter for Duval and Baker Counties. Hubbard House was midway through its $98,000 WGA grant providing in-house integrative gender-specific mental health counseling to women who receive services through their emergency shelter or outreach programs.
After her site visit, Barbara wrote in an email to the Evaluation Team chairs:
“I am so proud to be a WGA member, and to be providing mental health services to women in such dire circumstances.”
Kirsten was not only moved by the women she met, but struck by the grace they exhibited under the pressure of communal living “especially after all they’ve been through.” She recalls thinking.
“I can’t do a lot for all of them, but the least I can do is free them from worrying about what to cook for their families for one night.”
The dinner she had delivered from her family restaurant business for every woman and child in shelter the following week was very much appreciated.