Daffodil Ministries, a resourcing group for women leaving domestic violence in Wyoming, Mich., has seen a dramatic increase in the number of women referred to its services. While having served 20 families over the previous three years, referrals jumped to 35 in 2022 alone. That's why the group, formed by members of Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Wyoming, is focused on the biggest need for these women to recover and care for their children: stable, safe housing.
Since 2017 Daffodil board members have helped clients by contributing funds toward the first months’ rent and deposit, often averaging $1,500. The ministry found that this was all that was needed for these intelligent, resourceful women to continue their jobs, care for their children, and begin the healing process, said Calvary CRC pastor Mark Van Drunen. While this undertaking was a success, they felt called to do more, including to contribute to the supply of rental housing at below-market rates for those with lower incomes. The first step in this process has already begun with the purchase of a duplex, and the ministry, now a separate nonprofit organization, hopes to purchase additional property.
Stable housing is an important issue—most shelters have a time limit on bed space of 60 to 90 days, after which women and families are left to find housing on their own. Sometimes this means living in a car, couch surfing, or even returning to their abusive partner for lack of options. Long-term housing not only offers security but allows space and time for emotional and spiritual well-being to blossom, according to the Daffodil Ministries website.
To help to meet those needs and address them as well as possible, Daffodil Ministries includes survivors of domestic abuse on its volunteer board, ensuring that the board’s decisions in no way resemble the actions or role of an abuser. This is why they offer spiritual support but never make it conditional to receiving help with housing. “These women are extremely strong and have an incredible drive to survive and take care of their children,” said Van Drunen. This is why the organization chose the name Daffodil, to represent hope, renewal, and a new beginning.
Funding for the ministry comes primarily from the Calvary CRC congregation with additional support from local businesses, foundations, and individuals in the community. Daffodil’s board president, Art Opperwall, said 75% of donations for the duplex were in-kind donations from local businesses, including renovating a kitchen, supplying windows, and preparing landscaping.