Joe Torre, former professional baseball player and manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, grew up the youngest of five children in Brooklyn, New York. His father was a New York City police detective and revered in his community. He was the cop that made everyone feel safe. Everyone except his own family.
Joe, Sr. ruled his home with an iron fist. He was a physically abusive husband and an emotionally abusive father. The violence that had besieged the Torre household for so many years was a well-kept family secret and stayed a family secret for generations. However, in December of 1995, Ali and Joe Torre attended a seminar called Life Success. As a result of Joe’s participation in that seminar, he began to talk openly of his childhood experience with domestic violence. He went public with his family secret in his autobiography, Chasing the Dream: My Lifelong Journey to the World Series.
Ali and Joe Torre wanted to educate children about the issue of domestic violence. In 2002, they created the Joe Torre Safe At Home® Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is “educating to end the cycle of domestic violence and save lives”.
Initially, the Joe Torre Safe At Home® Foundation focused its resources on awareness building through a local and national multimedia campaign. However, the Joe Torre Safe At Home® Foundation quickly determined that they wanted to educate children about violence so that children understand that they are not alone and that there is hope.
In 2005, the Joe Torre Safe At Home® Foundation opened its first school-based programming initiative, Margaret’s Place, at Hostos-Lincoln Academy, Bronx, NY. Margaret’s Place, a tribute to his mom, is a comprehensive program which provides students with a safe room in school where they can meet with a professional counselor trained in domestic-violence intervention and prevention. Currently, the Joe Torre Safe At Home® Foundation has ten fully funded and operational Margaret’s Places in New York City, Los Angeles, Westchester County and New Jersey. The sites are fully funded and have a minimum commitment of three years.