Pictured on left, Krystle Robare and Tammy Koske, Vice President and President (respectively) of the Domestic Violence Task Force in Palmer, set up this beautiful 9 foot tree as part of the Palmer Historical Society’s fundraiser as a way to raise awareness of the Task Force and the issue of Domestic Violence.
Krystle Robare has been with CHD for going on seven years. Her passion to help people in need, particularly children in need, makes her a perfect manager in CHD’s Diversion, Shelter & Housing Program in Palmer.
“The program is one of what we call ‘scattered site housing,’ where families who come to us are housed in individual apartments that are integrated in the communities.” Krystle explains. “That’s what makes it such a great program; we’re talking about homes – something people really appreciate. We have about a dozen locations that provide temporary housing, assessment, and assistance finding a long-term solution for families. Families spend an average of six months with our team on their way to a more permanent housing.”
This particular location serves a greater number of people who have been affected by domestic violence. People come here from all over the Pioneer and Quaboag Valleys specifically because of CHD’s ability to help them get themselves and their children out of the abusive situations and provide support through the network of other programs that help families make positive changes in their lives.
In addition to her work with CHD, Krystle serves as Vice President on the Palmer Domestic Violence Task Force (DVTF), a group whose aim is to eradicate domestic violence in the area. The DVTF partnered with CHD to provide short-term shelter for victims of domestic violence and, as they do with families who are homeless, works with them to find a safe, stable, and long-term housing.
In addition to the Town of Palmer and CHD, the DVTF has the backing of some of the state’s key leadership including MA State Representative Todd Smola, MA State Senator Anne Gobi, the Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley, individual donors, and Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni who has recently started a county-wide effort to combat domestic abuse.
DA Gulluni recently spoke at CHD’s Through Her Eyes Girl Conference about the need for programs like the Palmer DVTF as part of his office’s overall strategy to dedicate attention and resources to this critical problem. In addition to raising awareness, they are assisting victims, prosecuting offenders, and maintaining an office dedicated to intervening in cases of domestic violence, when necessary.
Krystle, through both her program and through the DVTF is making sure families affected by domestic violence have a happy holiday season. During Thanksgiving, the task force distributed turkeys and all the fixings to 21 families in the area and are doing so again for Christmas. They also set up an “Angel Tree” in the Palmer Library with children’s wishes as ornaments. The tree, which has since been relocated to the Palmer Police Station, is an opportunity for people to buy presents for the mothers as well as the children. On Monday, December 19th, there will be a holiday gathering at the Police Station and will include music, food and entertainment for children and their mothers. The gifts will all be distributed then. “I do it for the children and the mothers,” says Krystle, “I really do love helping people.”
For more information on the Palmer Domestic Violence Task Force and the services offered, please call the civilian advocate at the Palmer Police Department at (413) 283-1058.