WE ARE HERE TO SHELTER, SUPPORT & EMPOWER
We are The Willow
The Willow Domestic Violence Center builds safer communities through shelter, services, and support to survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking in Douglas, Franklin, and Jefferson counties.
The Willow was the first domestic violence center in the state of Kansas, opening in 1976. Today, we answer 3,900 crisis and referral calls per year, house 300-450 adults and children annually, and serve over 3,500 of our neighbors and friends throughout Douglas, Franklin, and Jefferson counties.
All services are free and confidential and available to all residents of Douglas, Franklin, and Jefferson counties in Kansas.
The Willow empowers survivors to rebuild and restart.
Our agency began as the Women's Transitional Care Center, but in 2010 changed its name to The Willow. The willow tree is one of the few trees that, if a branch is broken from it and then replanted, will grow into a new tree itself.
The Willow promotes equity in our services and community by working to support the needs of a diverse population while being inclusive to people of all identities.
The Willow is committed to healthy partnerships, prevention work, outreach, collaboration, and education.
The Willow is committed to advocacy that is confidential, trauma-informed, low-barrier, and individualized.
Our Guiding Principles
The Willow works to empower survivors through peer support and respect, while honoring the dignity of those we serve.
The Willow supports the well-being of survivors and advocates via self-care, education, innovation, and research-based practices.
Megan has been Executive Director of The Willow since 2017, and with the Willow since 2015. Megan enjoys being a mom to her two kids and participating in whatever her community has to offer. She's grateful to be a Lawrencian and a KU grad.
Managing Director of
Jessica spent nearly ten years as the Director of Alumni and External Relations for KU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences before joining The Willow in 2018. She is the president of the USD 497 school board and teaches Leadership Studies at KU. She is a lifelong resident of Lawrence and a parent to two awesome kids.
Director of Community Services
Taylor joined The Willow as an AmeriCorps volunteer, and since that time has been worked directly with survivors at shelter, then acted as The Willow's HOPEworks Coordinator, arranging services and referrals for our community clients. Taylor's strength, diligence, persistence, and advocacy are among the many strengths she brings to the role. Taylor also enjoys comics and dancing!
Director of Shelter Services
Amanda Martinez has been serving survivors at the Willow since August 2012. In her current role as the Director of Shelter Services, she oversees the various programs offered to survivors needing emergency shelter in Douglas, Franklin, and Jefferson counties. In her spare time she enjoys late night coffee and game nights with friends.
Director of Communications
Will Averill has been at the Willow as Communications Manager since 2016, and before that in roles as diverse as online marketing, management analysis, and school registrar. When not managing social media for The Willow, Will writes plays and does comedy shows.
Director of Survivor Access
Felix Rodriguez has been at the Willow as the Director of Survivor Access since 2017, and a number of roles, including Survivor Access Advocate, SAFE Program Coordinator, and HOPEworks Engagement Coordinator at the Willow since 2015. In his spare time, Felix enjoys music engineering and production.
Director of Operations
Alicia Cusano-Weissenbach has has been the Director of Training and Volunteers since 2017, but has been with The Willow since 2014. When she isn't training advocates, she enjoys reading comics, watching horror movies, and spending time with her family.
JOIN OUR TEAM
Become a part of The Willow's journey.
The Willow prides itself on community transparency regarding our finances as well as policies and procedures. In order to be as transparent as possible and to comply with best accounting principles, we've formally written checks and balances into the governing by-laws of the organization.
Our Finance Committee meets monthly to review The Willow's financials and provides a report at the Board of Directors meetings. Additionally, we employ an independent auditor, commissioned by the finance committee. This committee conducts a full audit at the end of each fiscal year,. The auditor then presents his/her results to the Board of Directors, prepares our annual 990 filing (signed by both the auditor and Executive Director), and submits it to the IRS.
We welcome any questions you may have regarding our financials, policies and procedures, or any other area in which you have an interest or concern.