October 16, 2013

On October 11th Sara Windsheimer, Program Coordinator of the Safety First Program, was one of two people who received the Judge Stephen B. Herrell award in recognition for her outstanding work to end domestic violence. This annual award is named after a 19-year Multnomah County family court judge who was a champion of children and families. He died in 2006.

Creative, energetic, innovative, collaborative, passionate and humble are a few adjectives that describe Sara, who has worked with the Department of Community Justice for 2 years and has worked in the violence prevention field for over 10 years. In this relatively short career she has helped advance public awareness of the victims needs and continually strives to improve ways to serve them.

Safety First receives grant funding through the Office on Violence Against Women and offers supervised on-site visits as well as safe exchanges of children for unsupervised parenting time. Safety First has two locations, the Washington County Courthouse and the Gateway Children’s Campus. It has been in operation since August of this year and has proved to be an important resource for families throughout the Portland Metropolitan region.

Sara played an integral role in the creation of the program and has been key to its successful implementation. Her leadership and dedication have been invaluable to her staff and has helped the continued success of this program.

The Judge Stephen B. Herrell award emphasizes the importance of collaboration and this is a skill that Sara has demonstrated from day one. “Collaborating with other providers, judges, community justice professionals, and advocates is key to being able to offer important programs like these – we couldn’t do this work without others” reflects Sara. She considers receiving this award a huge honor and is proud that her work with the Safety First program is receiving more public recognition. She is thankful for the range of support the program has received from the Department of Community Justice and the Multnomah Board of Commissioners.