SARC resources, crisis line still available despite lobby closure


RICHLAND, Wash. — Many businesses and organizations are having to close their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of those is the Support, Advocacy and Resource Center in Richland.

SARC offers services to sexual assault victims, but also to those who have gone through other traumas such as abuse, identity theft, elder abuse, human trafficking and more. While their lobby doors are closed, they’re still offering the same helpful services but in a slightly different way.

“We want to make sure that people understand that while service desks pick it up first — that we are here and that we are still accepting new clients,” said JoDee Garretson, Executive Director of SARC. “The advocates are still following up with existing clients. Work is still happening. It’s just they’ll have to have a call back.”

Garretson said when you call their crisis line, it’ll notify an advocate who will get in touch with you rather than coming to see you in person due to social distancing.

She also added that emotions are going to be running high during this time. Not just for those with trauma, but everyone going through this pandemic.

“We want to reassure people — really everybody that for all of us, it’s very normal to be responding in ways that we might typically not by being more emotional or more angry or more sullen and be sure to be reaching out for help,” Garretson said.

Besides medical contacts with clients, everything is normal. They’re still providing counseling for clients.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the 24-hour phone number at (509) 374-5391.