Thanks to a family foundation grant, New Hope for Women's Waldoboro Community Advocate position was officially launched in October 2014, and Susanna Norwood-Burns was hired to fill the position.

Since then New Hope has been able to consistently offer outreach, education and advocacy to Waldoboro residents within their own community.

"We are fortunate to have many allies in town who support our work and help us to develop a consistent community response to domestic violence," Norwood-Burns said in a press release.

The advocate's first office space was at the Waldoboro Town Office. It was a donation by town officials, with support from Town Manager Linda Jean Briggs.

"We have a special appreciation of her and the support she has given this position from the beginning, along with Waldoboro Emergency Medical Services Director Richard Lash, and the Rev. Nancy Duncan of the Broad Bay Congregational Church," Norwood-Burns said.

In December 2015, the position moved into an office at 235 Jefferson S.t, and Nov. 1 of this year is expecting to move a few steps up the street to the Taction building at 251 Jefferson.

"This move will allow us access to a conference room where support groups can be held, and offers more discretion for clients," she said.

As community advocate, Norwood-Burns has provided trainings and has been a guest speaker at many organizations over the past two years, including Broad Bay Church, Waldoboro United Methodist Women, the Waldoboro Woman’s Club, Waldoboro Police Department, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Waldoboro Emergency Medical Services and Atlantic Partners Emergency Medical Services.

She has also visited many area businesses and providers, especially during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, providing them with brochures, resource materials and purple lights.

Norwood-Burns set up a display table at the Waldoboro Farmer’s Market, Waldoboro Days, during various functions at Broad Bay Church (including a benefit concert for New Hope for Women), and this year marched in the Waldoboro Day parade.

"The community support New Hope and I have received has been heartwarming and heartening, from businesses that have been willing to display purple lights during the month of October to health care providers who screen patients for domestic violence and offer a warm hand-off to our services," she said.

As she continues in the coming year, she hopes to increase collaboration, especially within the health care and faith communities.

The community advocate has assisted 74 individual clients in Waldoboro in 2015, up from 41 individual clients in 2014.

She has also provided community outreach to 22 organizations in 2015, up from 12 in 2014.

The numbers do not include any work done in area schools.

"Our goal is to continue to educate the community about the dynamics of domestic violence and New Hope for Women’s services, so that all members of the community, survivors, family members, and concerned others, know how to respond to and prevent family violence," Norwood-Burns said.