Center of Hope
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931-840-0916 ext. 201
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P.O. Box 1961
Columbia, TN 38402
Organization Details

Statements

Mission

To provide comprehensive support to those affected by domestic and sexual violence and to increase community awareness and education.

Background

Center of Hope was founded in 1989 shortly after the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence determined that there was a need for emergency shelter and counseling for victims of domestic violence in Maury County. Beginning as a grassroots movement in Columbia, Maury County's largest city, Center of Hope first came about when the Columbia Business and Professional Women's Association (BPW) teamed together with the Coalition to bring services to local victims of domestic violence. With the help of local volunteers, the BPW donated their time to establish a shelter facility and provide crisis counseling, information and referrals to battered women. As the demand for services increased and the need for a paid organizer became more and more apparent, Center of Hope quickly grew from a hotline and shelter into a comprehensive agency, expanding its services to provide court advocacy and other advocacy services. Over the years, Center of Hope has continued to progress and build upon its resources to include victims of sexual violence and stalking, as well as male victims. In February 2018, the Center of Hope expanded its reach to Giles, Lawrence and Wayne counties. It still stands single handedly as the only agency dedicated to combating domestic abuse, sexual violence and stalking in Maury County, its services today ranging from crisis intervention to long-term case management. Known previously as Hope House, our board changed our name from Hope House to Center of Hope in December 2012. Although our name has changed, our mission, who we help and how we operate remain the same. Due to the ongoing growing support of other community agencies, local law enforcement, courts, the District Attorney's Office and other social service agencies, Center of Hope staff and volunteers are able to justly serve victims by guiding them through the trauma they have experienced and onto a path of emotional, mental and often times physical healing. As an advocacy leader for victims of violence and abuse, Center of Hope is always striving to improve upon its services and find better ways to help victims of domestic violence and their families rebuild their lives as survivors. They go above and beyond to help these victims towards a life of justice and peace by facilitating a Task Force Against Domestic & Sexual Violence and partnering with the local justice system to educate them on how to improve victim safety and offender accountability within our legal system. Domestic abuse is not a private problem; it's a community concern and as a non-profit, Center of Hope would not be able to continue to grow its services without the kindness and generosity of the entire community. Every little bit helps and we are so lucky to be backed by the amazing support of the Office of Criminal Justice Programs, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the United Way of Maury County, the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence, the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, the Tennessee Bar Foundation, the Baptist Healing Trust along with the generosity of the city and county government, local civic groups, and local businesses, churches and individual members of the community in our efforts to end domestic violence.

Impact

The purpose of the Center of Hope is to serve victims of domestic and sexual violence, and stalking so that they may begin the healing process. Most importantly, we provide a safe environment where they can talk about things they have never before been able to verbalize so that the healing process can begin. We also provide on-going education to the community to raise awareness about the attitudes and institutions within our community that promote and condone violence. Our 3 most significant accomplishments for the past year are: 1. Continued funding by the Baptist Healing Trust with an additional amount to continue services to provide therapeutic counseling for victims of domestic and sexual violence and their family members. 2. Expanded our services into Lawrence, Wayne and Giles Counties and added bi-lingual staff to better assist the needs of the communities. 3. Continued collaboration with CPD to make follow up calls to all victims. This is done within 24 to 48 hours of the assault. This allows Center of Hope to be able to offer services sooner than we might be able to otherwise. Our 3 most significant goals for the current year are: 1. Continue with the process of redesigning and implementing improved residential services that better meet the needs of those we serve. 2. Seek out grants to build the current programs at Center of Hope. 3.Continue to work on a more collaborative effort with community agencies.

Needs

1. Committed volunteers, who not only want to help victims break free from the abuse, but more importantly are dedicated to serving them to begin the healing process 2. Bi-lingual or multi-lingual volunteers to assist staff to better meet the needs of our Hispanic community. 3. Increase collaborations with agencies in the community to better meet the needs of the victims we serve. 4. Increased funding to stabilize our programs with an eye to the future to meet the demand for services that are currently operating at or above capacity.

CEO Statement

You gave me HOPE when I didn't have any, when the problems and doubts and the fears were many. You gave me HOPE and a shoulder to lean on, a hug when I needed one, and a friend when I had none. You gave me HOPE and a safe place to stay, advice for my problems, helped me get away. You gave me HOPE and you believed in me, taught me I was worth more than I dreamed I could be. You gave me HOPE and a purpose in life, an example to others to help them through strife. You gave me HOPE though I almost gave in to the terrible despair for the situation I was in. You gave me HOPE and not once did you judge. You picked me up when I fell, just a nice, loving nudge. You gave me HOPE that a difference I can make; I can share my story, teach by my mistakes. You gave me HOPE; I received love from a stranger, renewed in me FAITH, gave me PEACE from the danger. You gave me HOPE. This is a poem from a survivor of domestic abuse who utilized our services over the course of 8 years. Although the journey was long and unfortunately, has not completely ended for her, she changed her life and now lives without abuse in her home. I am very proud of all the services we offer and strive to implement more. I think this poem illustrates what we do best. We give HOPE.

Board Chair Statement

Since joining the Center of Hope Board in 2015 I have greatly enjoyed working with the staff and other board members to help continuously improve the Center of Hope organization. Recently, the Center of Hope has hired a new Executive Director and expanded services to multiple counties. I would consider both great organizational successes, but with these successes also comes change and challenges. Center of Hope recently hired Cindy Sims to be our new Executive Director. Cindy has a great passion for helping others and has been a great fit for the Center of Hope organization. The Center of Hope Board of Directors has been a resource for Cindy during this time of transition and has supported Cindy as she has begun to implement her vision for the growth and development of the Center of Hope. Historically, the Center of Hope has served Maury County, Tennessee but beginning in early 2018, the Center of Hope expanded its service area to include Lawrence County, Giles County, and Wayne County, Tennessee. Center of Hope has also opened a new facility in Lawrenceburg, TN to shelter clients. This growth has been a huge success for the organization but has also created challenges with the increased size of the operation. Center of Hope staff has been working tirelessly to introduce our organization into the new communities that we serve, selecting top notch team members to represent the Center of Hopes great philosophy and values and raising awareness for what the Center of Hope does for the community. The Board of Directors has also been working on growth strategies to incorporate new board members from the communities that the Center of Hope now serves as well as developing plans for fundraising and community involvement. I initially began my service to the Center of Hope years before becoming a Board Member by helping with a charity golf tournament that has raised funds for the Center of Hope transitional housing project in Columbia, TN for almost 20 years. It has been a great honor to serve the Board of the Center of Hope and to become the Board President. The Center of Hope is a great organization that does incredible things for people who are in need, and I look forward to helping the organization continue to grow and succeed.


Service Categories

Primary Category: Human Services  - Family Violence Shelters and Services 
Secondary Category: Human Services  - Victims' Services 
Tertiary Category: Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy  - Alliances & Advocacy 

Areas Served

We primarily serve Maury, Giles, Lawrence & Wayne Counties domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking & sex trafficking survivors. However, we serve surrounding counties (Hickman, Marshall, Lewis, Williamson) due to the lack of services for victims of sexual violence. We also work with counties throughout Tennessee and the nation to ensure victims have access to safe services.

TN - Giles
TN - Wayne
TN - Maury
TN - Lawrence