Philanthropist and volunteer, Peter Machinis, explains the life-changing efforts being made by the WINGS program.
Domestic violence takes many shapes and forms, impacting a woman in the United States every 9 seconds. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence defines it as “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.” Not only does domestic violence impact the victim, but also their friends, family members, children, and neighbors.
Peter Machinis, a philanthropic supporter of the WINGS Program Inc., believes the non-profit is a vital lifeline to victims of domestic violence in Chicago, Illinois. Established in 1985, WINGS provides emergency services and transitional housing to both domestic violence victims and families in need of essential items. Over the years, the non-profit organization has been able to expand its services and help an ever-growing number of people.
According to Peter Machinis, escaping the cycle of violence requires more than just a place to sleep for the night. Victims need access to counseling, legal assistance, mentoring, career services, and life skills support. When courageous women decide to leave their abusive relationships, they often don’t know where to start. The first step of their journey is often the most difficult, as they try to figure out how to move forward with life on their own.
That is where WINGS steps in to offer support and ensure that victims and families can reach safety and independence. Pater Machinis firmly stands by the organization because it does not discriminate against anyone based on their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion. All people all welcomed with open arms in the fight against domestic violence and abuse. WINGS is committed to treating every individual with respect and compassion while evaluating their needs. Peter Machinis believes that everyone has the strength and potential to improve their lives and move past difficult circumstances with proper support.
WINGS operates two emergency shelters for people fleeing unsafe situations; housing 185 people total per night. Children are also welcomed. Peter Machinis explains that the safe houses offer safety planning, food, and clothing in addition to shelter for up to 120 days. It is the first domestic violence shelter to have opened in Chicago in over a decade, providing much-needed resources to the community.
For anyone struggling with domestic abuse in Chicago, Illinois, Peter Machinis recommends contacting WINGS through their 24-hour hotline at 847-221-5680. The representative will collect information about the victim and the situation and provide further instructions to get to safety. WINGS will hold the caller’s room for 24 hours, allowing the caller, and in many instances, their children, to arrive safely.
Once the victim arrives, Peter Machinis notes that they will receive a tour of their assigned space and the common areas. A WINGS House Advocate will be able to provide necessities if needed, such as pajamas, diapers, slippers, and toiletries. Afterward, the residents will be assigned a family advocate to help them heal and transition into the next stages.
For more information, Peter Machinis recommends visiting the WINGS website: www.wingsprogram.com.