Strategic plan brings new direction, priorities to NHM

Legal Advocacy Director Susanna Norwood with Boothbay Harbor police officers after a recent training.
Legal Advocacy Director Susanna Norwood with Boothbay Harbor police officers after a recent training.


ROCKLAND — New Hope Midcoast, the region’s domestic violence resource center, recently announced new strategic priorities to strengthen services, community connections and staff resources in Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox and Waldo counties.

Two years ago, the organization changed its name from New Hope for Women to New Hope Midcoast to better reflect the comprehensive nature of its mission and its inclusive culture. Shortly after, the estate of Kathleen Morgan, New Hope’s long-time executive director, left a legacy gift that helped support the development of the strategic plan to secure and guide the organization’s future.

For several months last year, board members and staff, guided by a consultant, surveyed and engaged in one-on-one conversations with clients, community leaders and partners, including law enforcement, lawyers, mental health providers and educators.

The strategic plan that emerged aims to strengthen the network of community organizations and individuals that support survivors and work to end domestic abuse. It will help destigmatize the issue and enhance educational efforts to prevent abuse before it begins. It also serves as a guide for how to broaden and enhance the ways survivors and their families get the help and support they need.

The strategic plan identifies five strategic priorities/goals:

- Strengthen relationships with key community partners — such as law enforcement, healthcare providers, and members of the legal system — to increase referrals of those in need and ensure long-term solutions.

- Support and stabilize the organization’s team of advocates by making new investments in financial and human resources, including effective retention strategies.

- Develop clear service pathways for survivors and provide time and space to understand options and discover what is needed to be successful.

- Boost long-term sustainability through responsible stewardship by increasing board engagement and investing in the technology and staff necessary to build a strong development program.

- Enhance training and curriculum for schools, healthcare providers and community groups to challenge cultural messages about relationships that enable or excuse abusive behavior, as well as the culture of shame and silence around abuse and violence.