Safe Passage, Inc. Receives Grant for Critical Shelter Upkeep

Wednesday, August 24, 2022 at 12:46 PM

By Safe Passage, Inc., news release

First Financial Bank is a top granter for the project.

Pictured at the First Financial Foundation check presentation to Safe Passage, from left, Karen Mirick, Safe Passage board secretary, Jane Yorn, Safe Passage founder, Cari Kettman, Safe Passage Executive Director, Morgan Oesterling, Carrie Rupp, Brad Mehlon and Angela Byers, all of First Financial. Photo provided.

(Batesville, Ind.) - The First Financial Foundation recently awarded Safe Passage a significant grant toward essential improvements for the Batesville shelter. Safe Passage is the sole support service provider of domestic and sexual violence victims in the six county region of Dearborn, Ripley, Ohio, Switzerland, Franklin and Jefferson Counties. Opened in 2004, the 30-bed shelter is located in Batesville.

First Financial Foundation provided $25,000 toward funding for critical structural and infrastructure work on the 110-year-old building. This work will ensure continued and expanded services to victims well into the future. “We are proud to support Safe Passage and their important work to help victims of abuse,” said Roddell McCullough, chief corporate responsibility officer for First Financial Bank. “First Financial aims to help people thrive and grow, which requires both personal and financial health. This is the kind of investment that fosters stability and strength to make entire communities better.”

First Financial Foundation is a top grantor for the critical structural foundation project.

The three-story building features multiple suites for clients and their families, communal kitchen and living room areas, children’s programming area, conference rooms and offices for case management support for those who may not need emergency shelter but do need support. Celebrating 25 years of free support services this August, the nonprofit has served over 16,000 victims, and the number continues to grow. Since January, Safe Passage has already seen a 139 percent increase in shelter clients and a 45 percent increase in crisis calls.

Cari Kettman, Executive Director of Safe Passage, commented, “We are fortunate to live in a community that cares about all of its citizens. First Financial has demonstrated their commitment to helping build long-term solutions for survivors to begin a violence free lifestyle filled with healing and hope. The more we can work with a survivor, the better the outcome toward a safer and healthier community for all. First Financial Foundation is a wonderful partner to Safe Passage and these resources will go a long way to serve survivors now and in the future.”

First Financial Bank and the First Financial Foundation take a strong leadership role in the community, and made donations of more than $4 million in 2021 alone.

Safe Passage charges no fees and all services are confidential. Safe Passage is a 501c3 organization. For more information go to the website at, call or text the 24/7 toll-free helpline at 1-877-733-1990.

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