If you’ve lived in Forsyth County for a while, you probably know all about Family Haven and the wonderful work it does. In case you’re not familiar with the organization, let me offer an introduction.
Family Haven is a domestic violence shelter and advocacy organization serving Forsyth and northern Fulton counties.
It is not simply a shelter. The folks there provide safe haven, legal advocacy, crisis support, outreach and life-skills training to help victims of domestic violence and their children.
That means a woman who is being abused can find safety for herself and her children and get the help they all need.
Family Haven helps the family transition to self-sufficiency, providing job training, etc. All of these programs and services are provided without cost.
Annually, Family Haven shelters more than 150 women and children, and provides community services to an additional 900 victims and their families.
On any given evening, there may be up to 26 women and children in the 27-bed facility. It is always at capacity and there’s usually a waiting list.
Did you know that one in four women experience some type of domestic violence in their lifetimes?
In 2012, there were 1,485 reported incidents of family violence in Forsyth County — and those are just the cases that were reported. In Georgia, nearly 73,000 incidents were reported that same year.
How many other women suffer in silence? Chances are you may know someone who’s a victim, but doesn’t leave her spouse because she doesn’t know where to go or who to turn to.
Family Haven has been helping women for 25 years. I love that it was founded by two nuns, Sisters Kathryn Cliatt and June Racicot.
Of course, they also founded numerous other nonprofits in our county, including The Place, which was the first local charitable organization, not including churches.
It is so hard to believe that when the nuns first came to Georgia, they were looking for a place that had a lot of poverty and needed help. And they chose Forsyth.
Even though our county today is considered wealthy by most statistics, there are still many who rely on the services and organizations these amazing nuns started.
If you would like to support Family Haven, please join me in attending the first Purple Purpose Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 9 at the Metropolitan Club on Windward Parkway.
Organizers hope to raise public awareness of domestic violence and funds for Family Haven so it can continue supporting and empowering victims and their families.
The keynote speaker is none other than first lady Sandra Deal, who chairs the Governor’s Office of Children and Families.
There will also be a fashion show put on by Chico’s of The Collection and there will be a silent auction of high-end handbags, each accompanied by a story about a recent resident of Family Haven.
These are precious stories of courageous women who overcame adversity in their lives.
Attendees are encouraged to wear purple. If you’re like me, that just became an excuse to go shopping.
Family Haven expects more than 100 attendees, and it’s my hope the event sells out. Please help spread the word. It promises to be a fantastic.
And if you do attend, come find me and say hello. I love meeting readers!
Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.