It all started in February 1991, when 3 friends pooled together resources to set up a confidential phone line for South Asian women survivors of domestic violence. That was the humble beginning for Maitri. The women founders saw a need & a service gap that existed for immigrant women from South Asia. While there were many organizations that provided legal, medical, financial and counseling services to mainstream survivors of DV, there were none that women from South Asia facing DV could turn to on account of cultural and language gaps. One of the major gaps was and still continues to be language access. Maitri was founded to bridge this gap. The phone that started ringing then, continues to ring at Maitri today.
Since 1991 Maitri has done transformative work empowering over 30,000 survivors and has become the go-to agency for the South Asian community. Maitri trained volunteers, created an exhaustive resource guide and services, partnered with South Bay legal organizations and other domestic violence organizations. What started as a referral service expanded to several programs and services to provide holistic help though: Helpline; Peer Counseling; Transitional Housing Program; Legal Advocacy Program; Economic Empowerment Program; Individual therapy & Supports Groups, Community Outreach and Education, Emergency Shelter Referrals and the Maitri Boutique.
Maitri firmly believes that the best human relationships are characterized by mutual respect, open communication and individual empowerment and to that end; all our activities are designed to help South Asians make an informed choice.