A Better Way provides shelter and services for victims of domestic violence, transitional housing, advocacy for victims of sexual assault, a 24-hour crisis line for persons in any type of crisis, AOK after-school academic and character building programs, and a check-in call service for elderly or disabled homebound persons.
History of A Better Way
A Better Way had its beginnings in 1977 when Marilyn Ginay and Joanne Lindblad became aware of the extent of the domestic violence problem when they were answering calls on the Welfare Department’s information and referral telephone line. They along with Terri Tverdik (Pankey), Muncie’s Human Services Coordinator, convened a community meeting, which led to the formation of a support group.
In 1978, a one-room shelter was opened under the leadership of the three women and a small number of volunteers. In March of 1979, the Muncie YWCA donated space for the shelter, and a grant was received from the Whitewater Valley Presbytery which funded a temporary director. In February 1980, Terri Tverdik was hired as the first executive director. From January to July that year, 212 women and children were sheltered.
Encouraged by United Way, A Better Way merged with Family Counseling Service and Crisis Intervention Center in 1981 to form Family Services of Delaware County, Inc.
In July of 1981, two houses were purchased with a City of Muncie Community Development grant, and the first building was renovated later that year for occupancy and office space. The second house was renovated in 1983 providing a separate shelter facility with 3 bedrooms and one bath with a capacity to house 14 persons. A Better Way operated out of these two buildings until October 1996 when the current building was ready for occupancy with a capacity of 25.
Services added in the 1990s include: children’s services; expanded advocacy services for sexual assault victims; and educational presentations. An endowment for A Better Way was established with The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County in 1997.
In 2001, the Community Information and Crisis Center was consolidated under A Better Way, merging two 24/7 services that are now handled by cross-trained staff.
In the same year, A Better Way received a three-year $400,000 federal grant to start the LOVE and Acts of Kindness programs provided at various community pre-schools and Wilson Middle School.
A four-year $1.9 mil. 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant was received in 2003 from the Indiana Department of Education. Services are currently provided at Wilson and Northside Middle Schools, and Grissom and Sutton Elementary schools.
In 2004, Passage Way, the 10 apartment transitional housing building for women and children who are domestic violence victims, was completed and welcomed the first residents.
A Better Way currently coordinates with Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office by providing two services. Women who want to drop domestic battery charges receive domestic violence education, and A Better Way, as a member of the sexual assault response team, advocates for victims of sexual assault. The suicide hotline is accredited by Contact USA.
Teresa Clemmons has been the Director of A Better Way since 1995 and has been the agency Executive Director since 2007. In 2007, the agency name was changed from Family Services of Delaware County, Inc, to A Better Way Services, Inc. The current emphasis is to put the agency on more solid financial ground through active board fund development.
Board of Directors
|Ed Armantrout||President||Assistant Vice President, Old National Bank|
|Debbe Winkle||Vice-President||Owner, ORS Inc.|
|Shannon Staton, MSW, LSW||Secretary||Assistant Professor and Practicum Coordinator, Department of Social Work, Ball State University|
|Jean Drumm, CPA||Treasurer||Certified Public Accountant, Drumm & Company|
|Cynthia (Cindy) Ammerman||Member||Product Director / Product Management, Ontario Systems, LLC|
|Dave Bahlman||Member||President Emeritus, Ball State University Foundation|
|Sharon Bowman||Member||Professor, Chair Counseling Psychology & Guidance Services, Ball State University|
|Sue Errington||Member||Indiana State Representative|
|Steve Gill||Member||Gill Bros. Furniture|
|Dawn Hines||Member||Financial Adviser, Edward Jones|
|Sherrie McCowan||Member||AVP/Branch Manager, Old National Bank|
|Lorraine Tomlin||Member||Vice President Commercial Sales, Prime Trust Credit Union|
A Better Way Statistics for July 2015 – June 2016
|Average Length of Stay|
|Average Daily Population|
|Highest Monthly Average (June 2015)|
|Ages of Residential Women|
|Relationship to Abuser|
|10||Ex or Separated Spouse|
|After Leaving A Better Way|
|104||Did Not Return to Abuser|
|10||Returned to Abuser|
|8||Women Who Returned to A Better Way|
|317||Domestic Violence Crisis Calls|
|9,657||Information & Referral|
|96 Sexual Assault|
Program Performance (July 2015 – June 2016)
- 19 protective orders were issued during this period.
- 182 students attended AOK 30 days or more
July 1, 2015- June 30, 2016 (Actual Cost)
Passage Way Housing Program $ 133,100
AOK Afterschool Program $ 286,956
Shelter Services $ 913,963
Management & General $ 107, 805
TOTAL $ 1,441,824
2016 Texas Roadhouse Luncheon Platinum Sponsor
- Dennis Tyler, Mayor of Muncie
- The Woodlands
2016 Texas Roadhouse Luncheon Gold Sponsors
- Donna Polcz, Realtor, Coldwell Banker/Lunsford
- First Merchants Bank, First Merchants
Trust & First Merchants Insurance Group
- Meridian Health Services
- Morrison Woods
- Ontario Systems Corporation
- Summers Carroll Whisler LLC
Major Sources of Funding
- Mary Kay Foundation
- ICADV – Delta Focus Capacity Project
- Old National Bank – 100 Men Who Cook
- George & Frances Brothers Foundation
- Ball Brothers Foundation
Sources of Funding – $10,000 or More
- Alpha Chi Omega
- City of Muncie Community Development
- Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County
- Division of Mental Health and Addiction
- Family and Social Services Agency
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Gill Bros
- Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority
- Indiana Criminal Justice Institute
- Indiana Department of Education
- Psi Iota Xi, Alpha Chapter
- Texas Roadhouse
- WMDH Radio
- United Way of Delaware County