TEMECULA — Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin recognized Supervisor Washington for his dedication to protecting families, honoring him as the first-ever recipient of the Michael A. Hestrin Family Justice Award.
Hestrin presented the award to Washington on Friday, Feb. 8, at the annual meeting of the Safe Alternatives for Everyone, a nonprofit that provides services for children, youth and families who have experienced or are at risk of abuse and violence. The new award is designed to highlight Hestrin’s support of crime prevention and community collaboration with law enforcement.
Washington was a founding board member and has supported S.A.F.E. for many years. Hestrin and Melissa Donaldson, director of the District Attorney’s Division of Victim Services, presented the award to Washington for his dedication to “Ensuring Safety, Seeking Justice, and Protecting Families.”
“As a Riverside County supervisor, Mr. Washington continued to not only support S.A.F.E. but help build services in the Family Justice Centers. Supervisor Washington cares about families and has demonstrated that time and again throughout his public service career,” said Donaldson, also a S.A.F.E. board member.
Safe Alternatives for Everyone has been a partner with the Riverside County Family Justice Centers since the opening of the first Family Justice Center in 2005. The Family Justice Centers provide confidential co-located and multi-disciplinary services to victims of domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, human trafficking and sexual assault.
“Back in 1997, as a Murrieta councilman, I joined other local leaders as we formed Safe Alternatives for Everyone to address domestic violence. I am beyond speechless and so excited about how far we’ve come!” Supervisor Washington said.
S.A.F.E., which is based in Temecula, and the DA’s Family Justice Centers announced at the same meeting that they will merge and add a fourth Family Justice Center. New services will include the expansion of youth services that are currently being hosted at Safe Alternatives for Everyone, such as the Police Activities League and other programs that provide social and emotional support and skill development to build resilience in our at-risk youth and/or youth exposed to violence. Additional services for adults affected by violence will also be expanded.