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Circle of Hope's mission is to support, empower and bring hope to those affected by domestic violence.
The Habersham County Task Force on Violence in the Family formed and met
in October 1987 to conduct a community needs assessment on the needs of
domestic violence victims. The outcome of that meeting was the formation of
Circle of Hope. Incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit in November, 1987, Circle
of Hope set up a telephone line to provide referral services to victims of
Volunteers worked from January 1989 to September 1990 to transform an
abandoned farmhouse into a shelter offering a homelike atmosphere to women
fleeing dangerous relationships. Two hours after its official opening in
September of 1990, the shelter accepted its first resident.
In 1991, Circle of Hope received State licensing from Department of Human
Resources, becoming eligible to receive State funding. Ten beds were available
for women and children needing a safe place to stay. The thrift store was
established in 2001 to increase revenues for the shelter. In 2002, services were
initiated to offer comprehensive support services and support groups to Spanish
speaking victims of abuse.
In 2002, Circle of Hope enhanced our Outreach Program by opening satellite
offices in Stephens and White Counties. Both offices maintain full time
advocates who are available to meet with victims of abuse in their County of
residence. Comprehensive support services, including legal advocacy and
weekly support groups are available in these outreach offices.
In September 2003, a Community Development Block Grant was awarded by
Department of Community Affairs allowing Circle of Hope to construct a new
10,000 square foot shelter facility. Construction began in 2004 and in August
2005, the new facility opened. Circle of Hope is currently licensed to house 17
women and children needing a safe place.
October 2003, Circle of Hope initiated a K-12 school based Prevention Program.
Curriculums are presented to students to educate them about healthy
expression of feelings, bullying, self-esteem issues, and dating violence.
In June 2007, Circle of Hope implemented a transitional housing program. The
program utilizes five local apartments and is funded by HUD. Families selected
for the program are eligible to participate for 2 years. In addition to paying 30%
of their income into a savings account that they have returned to them upon
exiting the program, they receive comprehensive support services that help them
further their education and overall well-being.
- Elizabeth Pelaccio
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