Local News

SSFS rebrands to Anew: Building Beyond Violence and Abuse

South Suburban Family Shelter, a helping organization founded 40 years ago to work with women and families impacted by domestic violence, is rebranding itself with a new name – Anew: Building Beyond Violence and Abuse.

In announcing the change, Jeffrey Smith, president of the board, said the change better reflects the organization’s efforts to “promote people and communities beginning anew, with a deeper perspective of domestic violence and a rejuvenated focus on teaching peace and compassion.”

When the organization was founded, the hope was to create a permanent on-site shelter for those experiencing domestic violence, but several factors prevented that goal. Instead, the agency focused more on providing orders of protection, a hotline and counseling for short-term emergency shelter, and spreading education and awareness of domestic violence.

As the group have evolved over four decades, the board of directors decided in 2019 to initiate a rebranding process.

“We held focus groups with our constituents, clients, and the community at large, as well as administering several surveys to garner feedback. The feedback we received was in line with what we were also feeling: our name did not relay the services we provide and to who,” Smith said. “The change to Anew: Building Beyond Violence and Abuse reflects the evolution of services that we provide.

“The new name encapsulates all we do to help those impacted by domestic violence, and more accurately describes the work we do to educate the community and stop domestic violence in its tracks.”

The staff remains committed to the mission to provide comprehensive, coordinated services to individuals and families in which domestic violence exists, without imposing any one solution. Anew’s array of services includes a 24-hour bilingual hotline, emergency shelter, counseling, court and medical advocacy, as well as transitional and rapid re-housing.

“To fulfill our vision of a world free of domestic violence, we continue to provide education on healthy relationships with kids and families alike throughout our communities,” Smith said.

For more information about Anew’s services visit

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