• Empowering Youth, Breaking the Cycle: The Be Project's Commitment to Youth

    by Natalie Wall | Feb 01, 2024


    In the pursuit of eradicating domestic violence, education and community awareness play pivotal roles. Our Be Project program, an initiative committed to empowering and educating youth and preventing teen dating violence, stands out for its comprehensive approach. As we enter February, designated as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, the Be Project gears up for advocacy, education, and community engagement. This blog will delve into the Be Project's impactful programs, their vision for breaking the cycle of violence, and practical tips for parents in fostering healthy communication with their teens.

    The Be Project's Mission:


    At the heart of the Be Project's mission is the dual focus on survivor empowerment and community education. By providing vital resources, programs, and initiating awareness campaigns, the project aims to empower victims to break free from abusive relationships and embark on a path of healing. The larger vision is to break the cycle of domestic violence by educating the community about different forms of abuse, thus fostering a culture to not tolerate such behavior.


    Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month:

    February marks Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and the Be Project takes this opportunity to advocate for the prevention of dating abuse among youth. Through evidence-based strategies, the Be Project creates protective environments in schools and communities, teaching healthy relationship skills, increasing positive relationships, and connecting youth with essential domestic violence services.



    Here is Texas Council on Family Violence’s national SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLKIT for you to share on your platforms to spread awareness about Teen Dating Violence.


    Learn More About Be Project:

    The Be Project's "What is Love" initiative focuses on educating youth about boundaries, healthy relationships, and recognizing signs of abuse. With programs ranging from classroom education to community engagement, the project partners with over 19 schools in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In 2023 alone, the Be Project worked with over 5,400 students, with more than 90% of participants being able to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy relationship behaviors. Read more.

     

    Join us in the month of February for events in the Dallas area to learn more about Teen Dating Violence and healthy relationships:


    Teen Book Club Night

    Whose Books in Bishop Arts

    Thursday, February 29 @7pm

    Register here 

     

    Parent Book Club Night

    Whose Books in Bishop Arts
    Thursday, February 22 @7pm

    Support Whose Books with a donation and join us to learn more about talking with your teen!

     

    A Safe Space: Learn About Teen Dating Violence 

    Desoto Domestic Violence Advisory Commission and The Family Place - Be Project are partnering for a free interactive event about teen dating violence!

    Saturday, February 24 11am-2pm
    New Legacy Community Church

    More details and register here!



    Parent Involvement:

    Recognizing the crucial role parents play in shaping their teens' perspectives on relationships, the Be Project extends its reach by providing communication skills for parents. Strategies for establishing clear communication, building trust, and fostering healthy relationships form a crucial part of the Be Project's vision.


    The Be Project offers strategies for parents to create a safe and supportive environment:


    1. Provide Safety: Set clear boundaries, maintain open communication, approach conversations with curiosity, and hold yourself accountable as a parent.


    2. Create Connection: Foster a strong bond by spending quality time, establishing routines, respecting autonomy and opinions, and understanding your teen's thoughts, feelings, and interests.


    3. Build Support: Utilize active listening skills, validate your teen's feelings, engage in respectful communication, and empathize by putting yourself in their shoes.



    As we share more throughout Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in February, the Be Project works actively towards breaking the cycle of domestic violence through education, community engagement, and survivor empowerment. By embracing a holistic approach that involves parents, schools, and the community, the Be Project contributes significantly to creating a future where healthy relationships flourish, and domestic violence becomes an aberration rather than a norm.


    If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, reach out to the 24-hour hotline at 214-941-1991 for immediate help. Together, we can end the abuse. 






  • Why Do People Stay In Abusive Relationships?

    by Natalie Wall | Jan 18, 2024

     

    There is an immense amount of courage involved in leaving an abusive relationship. We often hear people ask why someone won’t “just leave” when they begin to be abused, so we wanted to dive deeper into the topic and explain the layers of what could be running through a victims mind.


    Fear.

    Many victims are afraid of the consequences that could arise if they leave. Their abuser could find them and become even more violent or in the worst case scenario, lethal. Many victims do fear for their lives and feel they have a better chance at survival if they stay. This is why we have DVHRT, our high risk team, who are specifically trained to work with the authorities to help a victim leave their situation as safely and calmly as possible. 


    Children.

    Not only can abusers physically retaliate against the children in order to keep their victim under control, but they can also make the victim feel like they would be breaking up their family if they left. Keeping the family together may not only be something that a survivor may value but it could also be against their religious beliefs to get a divorce from their partner and to separate their family unit.


    Lack Of Resources.

    Many people fear being on their own because maybe they think they wouldn’t be able to provide themselves or their children with the resources they need to survive. They may have never had a job before, not be able to afford clothing, food, or even have a place to escape to. This is why we provide Emergency Shelters and Transitional housing to help get survivors back on their feet. While in our care they will also have the ability to use our resources such as legal aid, medical and dental. Counseling, and even our job training program.


    Shame. 

    Shame is a powerful feeling. Victims may feel that they’ve done something wrong, that they deserve the abuse, or that experiencing abuse is a sign of weakness. Remember that blame-shifting is a common tactic that their partner may use and can reinforce a sense of responsibility for their partner’s abusive behaviors. Here at The Family Place we use counseling and group sessions in order to help survivors understand that no abuse is deserved and that they hold none of the blame for what has happened to them.


    Besides the obvious fear of physical harm, there are many reasons why victims of domestic violence struggle to leave their abuser. Every story is different and personal, so our care for each survivor is different and personal. So instead of asking “Why” do people stay, we want to ask what we can do to help them leave. We hope to be a place of resources, shelter, and relief for everyone who walks in our doors. We hope that when someone hears about what we provide here at The Family Place, they feel that much more confident to take the next step and walk out the door to a brighter future.
  • Learn About Our Domestic Violence High Risk Team

    by Natalie Wall | Dec 13, 2023

     

    The Family Place is struck with grief over the recent loss in our community. Our agency strives to empower our survivors, but the pain of domestic violence tragedies never goes unnoticed. Last week when a known domestic violence perpetrator allegedly killed his ex-girlfriend, her one-year-old son, and her parents before killing himself, we’re reminded just how critical our collaborations with the criminal justice system are in protecting families. One of these relationships is our participation in the Dallas Domestic Violence High Risk Team (DVHRT), which protects domestic violence survivors who are at the greatest risk of serious injury and death.

    The Danger is real. Last year, 216 Texans were killed by intimate partners. In order to combat these horrific outcomes, we created the Domestic Violence High Risk Team to provide safety planning, crisis intervention, case management, advocacy, counseling, and coordination services offered by partner agencies. We know that when domestic violence response systems share information and work together, they have greater impact. The Family Place works with the Dallas Police Department Family Violence Unit, Dallas District Attorney’s Office Family Violence Division and Dallas County Corrections and Community Supervision Department to quickly identify cases that have the highest risk of victims being killed by their former or current intimate partner. Through the criteria put in place by the team to assess risk factors, we are able to focus on those victims and offer services, shelter, and support in hopes of preventing danger. We know that every phone call to our 24-hour crisis hotline is a lifeline, and The Family Place is proud to have been there for those in crisis for the last 45 years. 

    The approaching holidays remind us of the increased danger faced by families suffering from domestic violence. During the holidays, hotline calls spike and are up by 39% from earlier this year. To ensure we can meet the need now and in the future, we need your support.  

    A message from our CEO, Tiffany McDaniel:

    “Inspiration unfolds in the resilience of survivors and the untold stories of victims. The Family Place makes it our calling to amplify their voices, building a new path for them to find strength, hope, and triumph against domestic violence.”

    Together, we can lift up the stories of victims and survivors to educate our communities about domestic violence in hopes to prevent future tragedies.

    Please join us in our mission to prevent domestic violence and protect those at risk.
  • Testimonial Tuesdays

    by Natalie Wall | Oct 03, 2023

    Welcome to our blog dedicated to the survivors of domestic violence at The Family Place. We want to share the voices of those who have overcome adversity, sharing their stories of strength, courage, and the journey towards brighter futures. By shedding light on the experiences of survivors, we hope to foster awareness, support, and empowerment for those navigating the paths of rebuilding their lives after and during their experience of domestic violence. Follow along with us as we share each month a story to inspire and uplift those who have triumphed over darkness. 

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

     

     

    Caroline hadn’t been married long before her husband began abusing her. One day after church, she was holding her 11-month-old granddaughter when she and her husband got into an argument. He began to choke her until she passed out, and she and the baby both fell to the floor. She crawled to her nearby bedroom. And, with weak and shaking hands, called 911. The police came and arrested her husband.

    Caroline got a restraining order against her husband, and a counselor at her church told her about The Family Place. During her marriage she suffered physical, sexual and financial abuse, but counseling at The Family Place helped her see that change was possible.

    “I was so ashamed and embarrassed to tell anyone, but I broke that silence and took my voice and my life back,” she says. “The Family Place showed me how to be victorious and bold.”

    Caroline divorced her husband and now has a job, is attending school and is in the process of purchasing a home. She is in the leadership program at The Family Place and is a member of Toastmasters. Caroline says the resources at The Family Place empowered, motivated and equipped her to take a stand against domestic violence.

     

    Josie Horn grew up in Dallas watching her father abuse her mother. She graduated from Mountain View Community College with a degree in Business Administration and later married and had three children. Shortly after getting married, her husband went into the ministry and began to abuse Josie psychologically and spiritual.

    Josie lost her mom to an aneurysm and her sister to ovarian cancer in the span of a few years. During this time her husband started doing drugs and their church started the process to vote him out as pastor.

    “I didn't know which way to turn, and I honestly thought I was losing my mind,” Josie says. “It was blow after blow after blow. I didn't have anyone to talk to, I didn't know where to go, and I definitely couldn't explain what I was feeling. Eventually I was diagnosed with manic depression.”

    When an advocate from The Family Place spoke at her office in 2001, Josie realized she was in a crisis and began to relive the pain and turmoil from her childhood and abusive marriage. Her divorce was final by this point, but through counseling at The Family Place, she realized her life still had a purpose.

    “All of the things I have experienced have helped build my confidence and make me a stronger individual,” she says. “The Family Place is a place you can go to for help, shelter, leadership and mentorship. It has made a tremendous impact in my life by letting me know that no matter what circumstance I go through, I have the power inside to overcome every obstacle.”

    Josie was The Family Place’s Survivor of the Year in 2008 and shared her story on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. She is also writing a book about her experiences so that other women will know that they are not alone.

     

     

    Meet Mary, a 47-year-old survivor, came to the Family Place after a physical altercation with her boyfriend of 8 years. She reported that her boyfriend was physically abusive towards her and frequently intimidated her by breaking items around their house. Upon entering the shelter, Mary was nervous and unsure how she was going to move on with her life as she leaned on her boyfriend for support after each abusive episode, falling into the dynamic Cycle of Abuse.

    While finally reaching safety in shelter at The family Place she determined she wanted a Protective Order to help stop him from hurting her further. With the help of our legal services, Mary obtained just that. She also learned about the cycle of violence, enrolled in counseling, and sought employment. Mary attended a weekly self-resiliency group that helped boost her confidence in her ability to thrive independently. The Family Place shared with her the supported living program, assisted her with budgeting and ensured Mary had the resources to move forward. Upon completion of the program, Mary said she was going to continue her healing journey by continuing to attend counseling services. A few weeks later, Mary contacted us with an update of her journey that she was doing well, made new friends, continues to work, and feels good about the changes she made in her life. The Family Place is proud of her bravery that it took to step into the path free from abuse. 

     

     

     

    At The Family Place, each survivor comes to our shelters with a unique story.

    We encountered one survivor who had endured abuse from her partner for over seven years. Upon working with her we discovered that she had been completely isolated by her abuser. She was not allowed to work and was kept confined to her home at all times. Throughout their relationship, she spent more than five years trapped at home, unable to escape the physical, emotional, and mental abuse that surrounded her. Her isolation prevented her from maintaining friendships, and she had no one to socialize with. Even her own family had a close relationship with the abuser and downplayed her abuse, encouraging her to stay. When she finally took the courageous step to flee to The Family Place, she found herself surrounded by people who would help her regain her confidence.

    Her mentality shifted from “I don't feel I can do this” to “I can't believe I accomplished this.”

    Over time, The Family Place had the honor of witnessing her incredible transformation. From finding the courage to voice her needs to achieving remarkable milestones, she actively engaged in psychoeducational group counseling, obtained her GED, secured scholarships, and landed a stable job—achieving financial independence for the first time. With the guidance of our Housing Department, she transitioned to her own apartment, establishing a safe space where she set boundaries and reclaimed control. She discovered the strength within her voice and reclaimed the power over her own life.

    Your support makes this transformation possible.


     

     


    After Hope Woodson left her abusive marriage her son’s behavior changed drastically. His grades started slipping, and his behavior worsened at home and school. He had outbursts where he became extremely sad and then lashed out in anger. Hope called the Family Place after seeing a news story where our counselors assisted a young man having similar issues, and she and her children started coming to one-on-one and group counseling sessions.

    “We learned how to express ourselves without anger and how to channel feelings of sadness and uncertainty. Most importantly, we learned that there was a light at the end of the tunnel, and that we weren’t alone,” Hope says. “It wasn’t easy at first, but sharing my truth with women that had gone through similar experiences gave me confidence, strength and encouragement.”

    Today, Hope’s son is an 8th grader who is excelling in school and plays three sports. Hope is a member of The Family Place’s Ladies of Leadership, a group of survivors-turned-advocates that volunteer and share their experiences at various community events. She is also serving on The Family Place Partners Auxiliary Board for 2018.

    “I couldn’t be more excited and proud of this opportunity to serve an organization that has positively impacted and transformed my life,” she says.

     

     

    A Survivor's Story of Perserverance

    Dr. Aaliyah Miranda overcame adversity, facing abuse, homelessness, and family separation at 16.

     

    With The Family Place’s support, she earned a Ph.D. in Education, worked in public education and victim advocacy, and now leads our residential programs, empowering family violence survivors. Her story inspires resilience, particularly for children.

     

    “Thanks to The Family Place, I found the courage to be where I am today. The Family Place showed me and my children that there are people who care without even knowing you. I will be forever grateful."

     

    Born and raised in Mexico, Aaliyah immigrated to Dallas at 16. Her first son was born when she was 17. He suffered from gastroschisis, a birth defect in which an opening in the abdominal wall allows the stomach, small, and large intestines to extend outside the body.

     

    Aaliyah married after high school, but the relationship quickly turned abusive. She stayed for eight years before finding the courage to reach out for help. Her mom had given her a phone number for The Family Place, and calling it changed her life. When she came to The Family Place Safe Campus emergency shelter in 2000, she had no money or job skills. Her boys were 6 years old and 12 months old at that time. They lived in the emergency shelter for 30 days and then moved into our transitional housing apartments for three months. There she began the journey of learning how to support her family. A year later, her ex-husband sued her and won custody of one of the boys. With one son living with her abuser, and her boys separated, she found herself destroyed, uneducated, hopeless, and desperate.

     

    Aaliyah was still connected to The Family Place and was receiving counseling and support from our Southern Dallas Counseling Center. She decided to go back to school and fight for her children. From 2000 to 2005, we helped her acquire the necessary tools to get back on her feet.

    Aaliyah took full advantage of every opportunity. After taking many ESL classes, she enrolled in college level classes. Working and studying at the same time meant a lot of sleepless nights, but she was determined to accomplish her goals.

    Eventually, Aaliyah received an associate’s degree in Applied Sciences in Criminal Justice from Mountain View College. She later graduated cum laude from the University of Texas in Arlington with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and went on to get a Master’s of Education with dual language emphasis. There was truly no stopping her! She completed a 12-hour newcomer/ESL graduate program at Southern Methodist University, received a principal certification in 2010, a superintendent certification in 2016, and earned her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University Commerce in 2019. Her dissertation topic was something she truly understood: “Exploring the Beliefs, Values, and Experiences of Latina Principals and Their Resiliency to Overcome Struggles Faced During the Pathway to the Principalship.”

    After much praying, Aaliyah also was able to reunite with her son after eight years of separation.

    Her work path while she was pursing her higher education was varied. She worked at Parkland Hospital in the Victim Intervention Program/Rape Crisis Center as a client advocate where she was responsible for completing forensic documentation and photography. She worked for 18 years in public education, serving as a dual language teacher, assistant principal, and principal. She served as a member of the Family Place board of directors and was also a member of The Family Place’s Ladies of Leadership, a group of survivors-turned-advocates.

    She worked as a program director at DCET/Believe in Yourself, Inc., a nonprofit that assists immigrants. She’ also became a member of Toastmasters International and held various leadership positions in the club. In 2020, she completed the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) award, the Toastmasters’ highest level of educational achievement.

    At The Family Place, Aaliyah is sharing her journey and her knowledge to empower survivors of family violence by providing leadership, supervision, and program development for all our residential services.

    “Thanks to the support I received from The Family Place, I found the courage to be where I am today,” Aaliyah says. “I used to be shy, had low self-esteem, and didn’t believe in myself. I am so grateful to The Family Place because I didn’t have to sleep on the streets. I promised myself never to be homeless again because of a man. To women who are currently recovering from an abusive relationship, I want to encourage them to keep moving forward, to not stop. We owe it to our children, but we especially owe it to ourselves.”

     

     


    When Sylvester came to The Family Place Men’s Shelter, he was just expecting a place to stay. Like many survivors, he did not have a stable support system. He soon found that the support of The Family Place would be life changing.

    Research shows that it is significantly more difficult for male victims to leave their abusers due to social expectations, fear of leaving children with their abusers, or feeling the legal system has minimized their abuse claims. Sylvester says when he first arrived at our Men’s Shelter, he felt emotional and mortified. He shut his door to everyone and thought he just needed a stable place to get away from the nightmare he was living.

    But soon he learned that The Family Place was much more than a place to stay. He said the team at the shelter treated him like family. Even though he had a job, they encouraged him to pursue additional training and education.

    This is something Sylvester had never considered doing for himself. He took advice from the shelter team and pursued certification as an X-ray technician. But he’s not stopping there. He’s continuing training to gain more skills and certifications as a medical assistant.

    The Family Place Men’s Shelter is one of only a few shelters for male survivors of domestic violence in the Southwest. In 2022, it served 84 men, providing not only for their basic needs but also support, respect, and resources they deserve to live empowered, positive lives.

    “The Family Place ended up changing me for the better,” Sylvester says. “Now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

    Sylvester says his experience at The Family Place has led him to serve others that have gone through something similar.

    “I want to pay it forward,” he says.

    DONATE in honor of a survivor

     

     

     

    Kimberly Johnson thought her abusive boyfriend would change when they got married, but as soon as she said “I do” the abuse became even worse.  She watched her sons become angry with her husband and knew she had to leave before the abuse started affecting them.

    One night she saw a commercial for The Family Place. She wrote down the hotline number and called the next day. Our hotline counselor explained that if she came to the shelter, she would have to cut all ties with her husband, something she was not sure if she could do after trying and failing in the past.

    Two days later, Kimberly called back, and we had an opening at the shelter, so she prepared to leave. When her husband left for work the next day, she and her children left for the shelter. Although leaving was difficult, when she saw the look of relief on her sons’ faces, she knew she had made the right decision. With The Family Place’s help, Kimberly got an apartment and never returned to her abuser.

    “Through the counseling and other services provided at The Family Place, I learned that I am worthy of love without violence of any kind, and that I am enough,” Kimberly says.

    This year, many years after coming to The Family Place as a client, Kimberly returned as an intern. She will receive a bachelor’s degree in Human Service in December of 2018.

    “I came to The Family Place to give back what was so freely given to me,” she says. “I am extremely grateful for the services rendered to me because I would not have made it if this agency wasn’t here.


     

  • Shining a Light on Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Together We Can Make a Difference

    by Natalie Wall | Oct 01, 2023

     

    As the calendar flips to October, a significant and critical event comes into focus—Domestic Violence Awareness Month. At The Family Place, we recognize the urgency of this issue and the imperative need for collective action. In Texas, where a staggering 1 in 3 individuals faces domestic violence, this has emerged as a pressing public health issue. This month, we invite you to join hands with us to amplify awareness, offer support to survivors, and strive towards Building Brighter Futures that are free from violence.

     

    Domestic violence manifests in numerous forms—physical, verbal, financial, sexual, digital, and stalking—all contributing to the vicious cycle of abuse. Shockingly, in 2020, the City of Dallas reported a staggering 15,000 domestic violence-related offenses and tragically, 35 intimate partner and family violence fatalities in Dallas County.

     

    Support for Survivors:

    It's important to recognize the immense courage it takes for a victim to leave an abusive relationship. On average, it can take up to seven attempts to leave an abusive relationship. In 2022, The Family Place stood by the side of over 19,000 individuals, offering them a lifeline of vital services, including emergency shelter, transitional housing, counseling, and more.

     

    Domestic Abuse Knows No Boundaries:

    Domestic abuse doesn't discriminate, regardless of age, gender, race, economic background, sexual orientation, or education level. Shockingly, 1 in 3 Texans will grapple with domestic violence, leading the CDC to declare intimate partner violence a grave public health concern in the U.S. Notably, even teenagers are not immune, as 1 in 3 teens will face the harrowing reality of dating violence.

     

    Prevention Through Education:

    The Be Project takes prevention education to schools, empowering youth to be safe, kind, courageous, and more. Education is a crucial component of preventing domestic violence. Encouraging youth to be a part of the solution to end relationship violence.

     

    Ways to Make a Difference:

    1. Donate in Honor of a Survivor: Consider making a heartfelt donation to support survivors, ensuring they have access to shelter, counseling, and essential resources. Dedicate your contribution to a survivor or someone you know to show your support. DONATE

     

    2. Spread Awareness: Harness the power of your voice and social media platforms to raise awareness about domestic violence. Share compelling statistics, personal stories, and valuable resources to break the silence and stigma surrounding this issue.

     

    Explore Our DVAM Toolkit: The Family Place has also created a TOOLKIT filled with valuable information on how you can shed light on domestic violence. This toolkit serves as a powerful resource for individuals and organizations looking to make a meaningful impact during Domestic Violence Awareness Month and beyond. Be sure to download it to access more information, resources, and guidance. TOOLKIT HERE

     

    3. Attend Empowering Events:

    Mark your calendar for October's dynamic lineup of events and workshops dedicated to educating about domestic violence. These gatherings offer a unique opportunity to connect with passionate advocates and delve deeper into the heart of the issue.

     

    • For the past three decades, Galleria Dallas and The Family Place have joined forces to champion the cause of ending domestic violence each October. This year, the Gallery Wall serves as a powerful canvas, showcasing vital information about fostering healthy relationships. It's a visual tribute available throughout the entire month of October. Don't miss the chance to stop by, capture the moment, and share with us your vision of love! Connect with us on social media [@thefamilyplace]. 

     

    “The staggering statistics reveal that one in three Texans experiences domestic violence, and the Dallas Police Department receives approximately 15,000 family violence calls every year,” CEO of The Family Place, Mimi Sterling, said. “The prominence of the Gallery Wall at Galleria Dallas allows us to effectively engage and educate thousands of young people with vital information about how to build healthy relationships based on respect that will lead to brighter futures.”


    • October 5, 11am: Texas Town Hall will gather officials and Texans to discuss statistics and stories behind domestic violence fatalities, with a focus on working towards a safer tomorrow.

     

    • October 17, 6:30pm: Join us at the Illuminate Irving event at Millennium Park, where lanterns will glow with the names of loved ones in remembrance of victims and survivors of domestic violence.

     

    • October 19: Purple Thursday - Join the world in wearing PURPLE on October 19 to demonstrate your commitment to ending domestic violence. Share your solidarity on social media with us by tagging @thefamilyplace.

     

    This October, let's come together in a collective effort to support survivors, raise awareness, and work towards a world free from violence. By donating, spreading awareness, attending events, and wearing purple on October 19th, you can play a crucial role in this important cause. Together, we help shed light on domestic violence and we hope you join our mission to help survivors thrive!

     

    DONATE TODAY

     

     

     

    Resources:

    Texas Council of Family Violence

    CDC

     

  • The Family Place Men’s Shelter—Much More Than a Safe Place to Stay

    by Natalie Wall | Sep 28, 2023

    When Sylvester came to The Family Place Men’s Shelter, he was just expecting a place to stay. Like many survivors, he did not have a stable support system. He soon found that the support of The Family Place would be life changing.

    Research shows that it is significantly more difficult for male victims to leave their abusers due to social expectations, fear of leaving children with their abusers, or feeling the legal system has minimized their abuse claims. Sylvester says when he first arrived at our Men’s Shelter, he felt emotional and mortified. He shut his door to everyone and thought he just needed a stable place to get away from the nightmare he was living.

    But soon he learned that The Family Place was much more than a place to stay. He said the team at the shelter treated him like family. Even though he had a job, they encouraged him to pursue additional training and education.

    This is something Sylvester had never considered doing for himself. He took advice from the shelter team and pursued certification as an X-ray technician. But he’s not stopping there. He’s continuing training to gain more skills and certifications as a medical assistant.

    The Family Place Men’s Shelter is one of only a few shelters for male survivors of domestic violence in the Southwest. In 2022, it served 84 men, providing not only for their basic needs but also support, respect, and resources they deserve to live empowered, positive lives.

    “The Family Place ended up changing me for the better,” Sylvester says. “Now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

    Sylvester says his experience at The Family Place has led him to serve others that have gone through something similar.

    “I want to pay it forward,” he says.

    DONATE in honor of a survivor

  • Texas HB 5202 Aims to Prevent Intimate Partner Violence

    by Natalie Wall | Aug 27, 2023

     

    At the 2023 Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon, we’ll be recognizing the many dedicated individuals who championed Texas House Bill 5202 with the Texas Trailblazer Legislative Impact Award. Conceived by Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia and authored by State Representative Victoria Neave Criado, House Bill 5202 passed in the 88th Legislative Session and was signed into law on June 11, 2023.

    The bill creates a free, centralized website containing information on individuals who have repeatedly committed felony intimate partner violence. While this information is publicly available through various background check websites, it can be expensive, creating a substantial barrier to getting this critical information. House Bill 5202 provides information about repeat, violent offenders so that individuals can make better-informed decisions about their relationships. 

    Family violence advocates were included in the design and implementation of the database. Dallas’ Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Advisory Council identified improved data on offenders and creating more robust education in schools as critical to reducing the incidents of violence. HB 5202 increases accountability with better data for police, educators, and partners in the work to break the cycle of violence.

    The database will contain information regarding offenders who on two or more occasions have been convicted of any of the following offenses:

    • Assault, sexual assault, aggravated assault, or aggravated sexual assault for which an affirmative finding of family violence was made
    • Continuous violence against the family or stalking
    • Any combination of such offenses

    The database will contain the following information, to the extent it is available:

    • The person’s full name, each alias used by the person, and the person’s date of birth
    • A physical description and recent photograph of the person
    • A list of the applicable offenses of which the person was convicted, the date of conviction of each offense, and the punishment prescribed for each offense
    • An indication as to whether the person was discharged, placed on community supervision, or released on parole or to mandatory supervision following conviction of each offense

    LEARN MORE:  https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/88R/analysis/html/HB05202E.htm

  • The Jason Witten Score Foundation Mentor

    by Briana Weible | May 30, 2023

    The Jason Witten Score Foundation has made a significant difference in the lives of young boys through its mentoring program at The Family Place. 

    In our shelter, we welcome teenage boys who face challenges that no one their age should ever have to confront. Overwhelmingly, anger becomes their prevailing emotion, a reflection of the traumatic experiences their mothers have endured. At The Family Place, it is our responsibility to help these young men regain trust, establish boundaries, and acquire essential life skills as they transition into adulthood. We strive to create a safe and supportive environment, devoid of judgment. 

    Introducing male mentors into our program has yielded remarkable outcomes for these boys. They have had the privilege of interacting with and forming relationships with positive male role models, fostering personal growth and enhanced communication with adults. The shelter, where their mothers seek refuge from abusive situations, often leaves them without positive male examples to emulate. The Scorekeeper program opens their eyes to the existence of good and kind-hearted men who act responsibly and genuinely care about their well-being. 

    Under the guidance of Michael, who oversees eight young men each day, the impact of our program has been truly remarkable. The boys eagerly participate in their time with Michael, cherishing the attention and care they receive from him. Gradually, they have grown more comfortable sharing their thoughts and experiences, learning to express themselves in positive ways. They have discovered a confidant in Michael, someone they can turn to when facing troubles. 

    Seeing the young men flourish through their interactions with mentors like Michael has filled us with hope and gratitude. We firmly believe that the Scorekeeper program must continue at The Family Place, as it plays an invaluable role in shaping the lives of these boys. As long as Michael remains partnering with us, he will continue to make a difference in their lives, nurturing their growth and development. 

    We are immensely grateful for the support and generosity that have allowed us to provide this life-changing program. Together, we are creating a future where these young men can heal, grow, and thrive. Your continued support is vital in ensuring the success of initiatives like the Jason Witten Score Foundation. 

  • Q1 New Hires and Promotions

    by Briana Weible | May 22, 2023

    Taya Bookhart
    Hotline Counselor
    Taya was an intern at The Family Place in nonresidential services at our Central Dallas Counseling Center and Emergency Shelter Services at Ann Moody Place before she joined our hotline team on January 9, 2023. Taya strives to serve the community through resolving conflicts and providing guidance for those in need. She has a diverse background working with children and adults in psychiatric hospital settings and crisis intervention. Taya is working on her master’s degree in Social Work at Delaware University and received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Delaware State University as well.

     

    Edwin Bustamante
    Battering Intervention and Prevention Program Facilitator
    Edwin has been facilitating psychoeducational groups in our Battering Intervention and Prevention Program and working with offenders since 2018. He joined our program full time on January 9, 2023. Edwin believes working with offenders is primarily about helping their survivors and families by providing tools and practices of accountability. He’s passionate about ending domestic violence and working with the team at The Family Place.

     

    John Box
    Ann Moody Place Operations Director
    John joined The Family Place on January 17, 2023, to work with clients living in our Men’s Shelter on the logistics of starting new lives free from violence. His background is in manufacturing and management with 20+ years of experience in operations, 10 of which was in a director position focused on time management, scheduling, and cost saving. John is energetic about transferring this knowledge to his team and clients.

     

    Keiarra Tolbert
    Faith and Liberty’s Place Family Center Supervised Visitation Monitor
    Keiarra originally joined The Family Place as a supervised visitation monitor in July 2021 and departed in August 2022. We’re excited that she returned on January 1, 2023, to her previous role helping families court ordered to supervised visitation enjoy safe and meaningful time together. Keiarra completed her undergraduate work at Grambling State University and pursued her master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Texas at Arlington. Keiarra has eight years of experience in social services. We’re excited to have her back at The Family Place!

     

    Terrence Coleman
    Warehouse Staff
    Terrence joined our warehouse team on February 21, 2023, helping to house, organize, and distribute donations we receive from the community. He previously worked for Amazon and other major warehouse operations. We’re happy to have his expertise to keep our warehouse running smoothly.

     

    Melanie Martinez
    Emergency Shelter Services Bilingual Case Manager at Ann Moody Place
    Melanie joined the Ann Moody Place team on February 21, 2023, to provide case management services to our Spanish-speaking clients. She has a background in crisis intervention and mental health with experience in de-escalation, working with children, and providing mental health assessments. Melanie graduated in 2019 from Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

     

    Paulette Reid-Jones
    People Services Coordinator
    Paulette joined The Family Place People Services team as a temp on January 17, 2023. We were immediately impressed with her energy and dedication and hired her as a full-time member of the team on February 27, 2023. Paulette has been in payroll and human resources for more than nine years.

     

    Myla Cashaw
    Resale Shop Assistant Manager
    Myla joined our Resale Shop team on March 1, 2023, as an accomplished leader who enjoys using her retail skills to contribute to the success of the Resale Shop. Myla has worked in various roles in retail management from the spa world to big box retail. We’re already benefiting from her perspective making our Resale Shop more inviting to shoppers, which increases proceeds for our client programs.

     

    Maritza Ruiz, MSW, MHP
    Bilingual Case Manager at Southern Dallas
    Maritza joined The Family Place on March 6, 2023, bringing her background in mental health and case management to the Southern Dallas team. She is a Mental Health Professional and recently passed her Association of Social Work boards exam to become a Licensed Master Social Worker. She plans to continue her work in the mental health field and become a therapist. Maritza is dedicated to learning and advancement in evidenced-based interventions. She has a passion for helping the Spanish-speaking community that has less access to resources due to language barriers. Maritza graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2021 with a master’s degree in Social Work.

     

    Maria Castro, LMSW
    Bilingual Case Manager at Collin County Counseling Center
    Maria joined the team at our counseling center in McKinney on March 6, 2023. Born in México City, she moved to the DFW area in 2000. And graduated from Texas A&M University Commerce with a master’s degree in Social Work. She became a Licensed Master Social Worker in 2019. Prior to joining The Family Place, Maria worked at Hope's Door New Beginning. She is eager to use her skills to help those in need.

     

    Shanitta Baree-Busby
    Supportive Living Program Resident Advocate
    Shanitta joined The Family Place Supportive Living Program team on March 6, 2023. She was a childcare investigator for Child Protective Services for more than six years with significant experience working with families, assessing them for safety, and helping advocate for their needs. She was also a mental health technician for Hickory Trail Hospital in Desoto, Texas. Shanitta has a bachelor’s degree in Health Studies from Texas Woman’s University.

     

    Melanie Lewis
    Emergency Shelter Services Resident Advocate at Sally’s House
    Melanie joined The Family Place Emergency Shelter Services team on March 20, 2023. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of New Orleans and is currently working on a master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Texas at Arlington. Melanie has worked in social services for more than 18 years. She brings valuable expertise to our team and will be an asset serving survivors of domestic violence. 

     

    Angelita Howard, LPC (pending state approval)
    Central Dallas Counseling Center Counselor
    Angelita joined our counseling team at Ann Moody Place on March 20, 2023. She brings a proven success record leading cognitive behavioral therapy, talk therapy, right brain therapy, and group counseling. Previously she was a counseling intern with Nexus Recovery Center, where she gained experience helping patients with substance abuse disorders, anxiety, and mood and personality disorders. Angelita also has more than a decade of experience as a dance educator. She has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Delaware State University and a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Texas Tech University.

     

    Patricia Sterling
    Supportive Living Program Resident Advocate
    Patricia joined The Family Place Supportive Living Program team on March 20, 2023. Her background is in education. She has a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and has taught in public, private, and charter schools for more than 25 years. Patricia is an author and a service-oriented professional in the areas of domestic violence, advocacy, life coaching, speaker engagement, and group training. She serves on The Family Place African American Domestic Violence Council. Patricia always looks for opportunities to gain experience and growth.

     

    Alexis Cokes, BSW
    Emergency Shelter Services Resident Advocate at Ann Moody Place
    Alexis joined The Family Place on March 20, 2023, as a weekend resident advocate. She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and is currently working on her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Alexis sees herself as a mental health advocate. During the week, she is a special education inclusion teacher in Dallas ISD working with middle school students. Her vision is to be an agent for social change creating a safe space, building connections, and helping find solutions.

     

    Michael Edwards
    Child Development Center Lead Teacher
    Michael joined the Child Development Center team on March 20, 2023. With a background in teaching, coaching, and mentoring, he is a communications professional with a passion for youth development and sports. Michael is a creative and collaborative problem solver with success in content creation. He is proud to be a graduate of a historically black college having received his bachelor’s degree in Communications from Paul Quinn College in Dallas. He brings experience in mentoring and child development to the Child Development Center team.

     

    Syamoria Williams
    Hotline Shelter Advocate
    Sy joined The Family Place team on March 20, 2023. She was previously a court coordinator for the State of Texas and a legal technician and child support officer for the Texas Attorney General’s office in Dallas, Tarrant, and Johnson counties. She worked for The Texas Attorney General’s office more than a decade gaining extensive experience with domestic violence cases, restraining orders, and visitation concerns. Sy has associate’s degrees in Management and Liberal Science and a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Development.

     

    Q1 PROMOTIONS

     

    Kayla Landry
    Faith and Liberty’s Place Family Center Program Director
    Kayla joined The Family Place team in October 2021 and was promoted to her current role on January 15, 2023. She has a background in social services and retail management. For five years prior to joining our team, she worked with adult and child family violence survivors and with offenders. She is passionate about providing quality care and safety to the clients we serve. Kayla has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Criminal Justice and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Social Work.

     

    Theresa Little
    Men’s Shelter Program Director
    In her more than 22 years at The Family Place, Theresa has developed many areas of expertise. She has served in a variety of positions within the agency from program director to Community Counseling outreach specialist. She took on her current role at the Men’s Shelter on January 16, 2023. Theresa is a sought-after speaker about domestic violence in the community. She has received numerous awards and recognitions for work including the 2020 I Change Nations Award from the Grand Prairie Police Department and the 2021 Genesis Women’s Shelter Miriam Award for her community advocacy work. In addition to her role at the Men’s Shelter, Theresa is a liaison for The Family Place African American Domestic Violence Council.

     

    Edith Walker
    Director of the Children’s Educational Department
    Edith joined The Family Place in 2000 and has been in the childcare field for 38 years. She was promoted to her current role on February 1, 2023. Edith is a supportive resource for families at our Safe Campus. She has a director’s license, National Accreditation certificate, and an associate’s degree in Business Administration. She will graduate in May 2023 with an Early Childhood Education in Administration degree from Eastfield College.

     

    Britanny Roddy
    Resale Shop Key Holder
    Brittany joined The Family Place in April 2022 as a sales employee bringing 15 years of customer service experience to the Resale Shop team. She was promoted to her current role on February 3, 2023. Brittany brings a positive attitude and exceptional creativity to her work at the Resale Shop and values helping customers and associates achieve the Resale Shop’s goal of funding programs for our clients.

     

    Terri Garner
    Program Administrative Assistant at Ann Moody Place
    Terri has been with The Family Place for 16 years. For years she was part of the glue that held together our Emergency Shelter Services at Sally’s House. She began her career with The Family Place in February 2007 at Sally's House as the administrative assistant. She was later promoted to administrative assistant at our Southern Dallas Counseling Center. On February 16, 2023, Terri transferred to her current role at Ann Moody Place.

     

    Nikisha Anderson, MSW, QMHP
    Emergency Shelter Services Case Manager at Ann Moody Place
    Nikisha joined our Ann Moody Place team in October of 2018 as a resident advocate and was promoted to her current role on February 16, 2023. Nikisha has a bachelor's degree in Business from Northwood University and a master's degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. She brings many years of experience working with domestic violence survivors and children and families experiencing abuse and neglect. She has extensive training in anger management, illness management and recovery, the Satori alternatives to managing aggression, seeking safety, and adult needs and strengths assessment.

     

    Trish Turrentine
    Resale Shop Shift Supervisor
    Trish joined The Family Place in September 2019 as the Resale Shop social media associate focusing on social media, online sales, and consignment. She was promoted to her current role on February 16, 2023. She previously worked in retail management and buying for a major retailer. Trish is currently focused on working with the Resale Shop team to build our better sportswear and consignment business.

     

    Brielle Salley
    Emergency Shelter Services Case Manager at Sally’s House
    Brielle became a part of the Sally’s House family in the fall of 2022 and took on her new role on March 16, 2023.  She connects clients to resources and provided support in encouraging ways to both colleagues and clients. Brielle has a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Stephen F. Austin University and is pursuing a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Amberton University.

  • 45 Ways The Barkingham Palace

    by Briana Weible | Mar 29, 2023

    National Pet Day is April 11, but every day is pet day at our Barkingham Palace kennel. 71% of women in domestic violence shelters report their abuser threatened, injured, or killed a pet, which is why we included the kennel at our Ann Moody Place shelter.  

    Just as our counselors and case managers work closely to make sure our clients have everything they need, our kennel techs Shaina Rowland and Liz Tinajero care for our furry clients in our Barkingham Palace kennel. Shaina joined The Family Place in April 2022 and has worked with companion animals in a professional setting since 2017. She says he favorite thing about her job is “able to spend time with these sweet fur babies all day!” Liz joined our team in January 2023 as the weekend kennel tech. During the week, she’s a certified medical assistant at an OBGYN clinic. She says she loves her weekends caring for the pets and giving them love, especially because of what they have gone through. 

    It costs approximately $80,000 to run our animal services each year. We welcome both financial and in-kind donations. DONATE NOW and see our Pet Amazon Wishlist HERE

  • 45 Ways Volunteer Recognition Day

    by Briana Weible | Mar 29, 2023

    Volunteer Recognition Week is April 17-23, and we are celebrating by spotlighting a few of our many volunteers who go above and beyond for our clients. If you are interested in how you can volunteer at The Family Place, click here

    Dallas Service Forum provides home cooked meals to our Central Dallas Counseling Center every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. This dedicated group of volunteers has served clients of The Family Place for nearly five years, bringing laughs and smiles into the building every month. 

    The Doulas from North Dallas Doula Associates have provided home cooked meals to our Ann Moody Place residential clients multiple times and have hosted drives for us including their annual diaper drive. They are continuously spreading the word of The Family Place and showing their support.  

    Cecilia and Dr. Tim Norwood have donated to The Family Place since 1985. In 2018, they started volunteering by donating Christmas gifts and starter kits. They have continued their volunteer work by putting the clients needs first by donating brand new items of our biggest needs every time. Their dedication is shown through their detailed work of labeling every single item clearly for us to easily distribute among our shelters.   

    And finally, thank you to all of our 2023 event chairs. These amazing individuals have dedicated their time and effort into helping make The Family Place events the successes that they are, raising critical funds for our programs.

    Thank you to ALL of The Family Place volunteers who donate your valuable time to keep our clients feeling safe and at home. 

  • 45 Ways The Family Place Be Project

    by Briana Weible | Mar 29, 2023

    Our Be Project works to prevent sexual assault through increased awareness. The program is called Be Project to encourage students to Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Courageous, and Be More with a 10-week program designed to teach skills for healthy relationships. The curriculum addresses topics such as: 

    • Gender roles and expectations 

    • Dating violence 

    • Boundaries 

    • Communication skills 

    • Managing emotions 

    • Building empathy and respecting diversity 

      

    Presentations for parents and other influential adults teach them how to Be Informed. Information shared includes these warning signs that a teen may be in an abusive relationship: 

      

    • Decrease in self-esteem since entering the relationship. 

    • The interests, values, and desires of their partner dominate the relationship. 

    • Their partner is using name calling, threats, intimidations, insults, manipulation, physical or sexual abuse. 

    • Their partner feels entitled to be in control and always decides how things will be. 

    • They are afraid to break up, and the partner will not leave them alone. 

    • The teen no longer spends time with friends and only spends time with their partner. 

    • The teen receives constant text messages from their partner. 

      

  • 45 WAYS National Child Abuse Prevention Month

    by Briana Weible | Mar 29, 2023

    The Family Place provides comprehensive services that positively impact child survivors of family violence, keeping them safe and creating a pathway to brighter futures. These programs include: 

     
    Emergency Shelter provides family violence survivors with safety, food, clothing, transportation, legal services, counseling, and case management services at three shelter locations. 

     
    Supportive Living Program provides long-term housing, education, and training to help survivors rebuild their lives in 25 on-site apartments at our Safe Campus. 
     
    Children’s Educational Services provides full-time childcare, a K-2 Learning Center and after-school/summer program for school-age children with a curriculum written for the unique needs of traumatized children at the Safe Campus. 
     
    Onsite Medical and Dental Clinics provide health assessment, screenings, immunizations, and care at our Safe Campus and Ann Moody Place. 
     
    Children’s Counseling uses play therapy and activity-based programming to help children who have witnessed family violence change the way they look at the world. 
     
    Faith and Liberty’s Place provides court-ordered supervised visitation and monitored exchange sto families with a history of family violence. 

    Children from violent homes may be developmentally delayed, are more likely to be ill or under-immunized, have lower self-esteem, find it difficult to interact appropriately with peers, have poor problem-solving skills, difficulty managing anger, and often have trouble trusting adults. The children that The Family Place serves are traumatized by both family violence and poverty. We’ve designed our programs to address these special needs and help children thrive while protecting them from witnessing violence and experiencing abuse.  

    Our programs have grown to address the comprehensive needs of family violence survivors and work to prevent violence from continuing into the next generation by identifying trauma and helping children increase their language skills, increase their fine and gross motor skills, feel an enhanced sense of safety and well-being, refrain from incidents of physical aggression, and connect to external support services to address special needs. 

    We also address the health needs of children while they are in our care, ensuring immunizations are current, and, in addition to care from our clinic staff, children receive a physical exam from the Parkland Hospital mobile medical van. Our teachers conduct developmental, hearing and vision screenings. Through daily observations, appropriate referrals are made for dental and medical needs, speech therapy, play therapy, or early intervention programs. 

    All our programs for children have been created to let them be kids and see their way to a future without violence.  

  • The Importance of Safety Planning for Survivors of Domestic Violence

    by Briana Weible | Feb 23, 2023

    Having a safety plan in place is critical for anyone experiencing domestic violence. The Family Place’s 24-hour crisis hotline—214-941-1991—provides safety planning services to callers in crisis. Our goal is to ensure that 100% of callers are given a safety plan to help them act quickly to protect themselves from danger.

    A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that helps individuals anticipate and prepare for dangerous situations. It outlines steps to take if violence occurs, such as identifying safe places to go or people to call for help. Safety plans can also include information about legal resources, counseling, and other support services that can assist survivors in the aftermath of domestic violence.

    Having a safety plan in place can mean the difference between life and death for survivors of domestic violence. It provides a sense of control and empowers individuals to take action to protect themselves and their children. Our crisis hotline is just one resource at The Family Place that provides safety planning services and connects survivors to other support services that can help them on their journey to safety and healing.

    Safety Planning for Adults

    • Keep your phone charged and with you at all times.
    • Back your car into parking places in case you need to leave quickly.
    • Memorize emergency numbers, such as 911, the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233), or The Family Place Hotline (214-941-1991).
    • Identify escape routes in your home and practice using them.
    • Keep important documents, such as identification and financial records, in a safe place or with a trusted friend or family member.
    • Have a “go bag” prepared with essentials, such as clothing, medication, and cash.
    • Make a plan for where you can go and whom you can contact for help, such as a friend, family member, or domestic violence shelter.
    • Share your situation with a trusted friend or family member who can support you and offer a safe place to stay if needed.
    • Consider seeking legal assistance or obtaining a restraining order to protect yourself.

    Safety Planning for Kids:

    • Identify a safe place in the home where they can go if they feel scared or unsafe, such as a neighbor’s house or a specific room.
    • Know emergency numbers, such as 911 or a trusted adult’s phone number, and how to use a phone to call for help.
    • Understand that violence is never their fault and that they have the right to be safe.
    • Practice staying calm and quiet during violent incidents.
    • Have a “go bag” prepared with essentials, such as clothing, medication, and comfort items.
    • Talk to a trusted adult about their situation and how they can stay safe, such as a teacher, guidance counselor, or family member.
  • Our Court-Ordered Programs are Critical to Ending Family Violence

    by Briana Weible | Feb 23, 2023

    One of the key components of our work to end family violence is our court-ordered programs that help abusers change their behavior and become better parents and future partners. We work closely with Dallas family and criminal courts to provide these services. These programs, Faith & Liberty’s Place and the Battering Intervention & Prevention Program (BIPP), provide a comprehensive approach that teaches abusers how to change their behaviors positively in all relationships. The programs now occupy opposite sides of a new facility that’s the first to combine these services in one location. The programs do not share entrances and exits, ensuring the safety and privacy of all participants, but a common employee space for shared gathering.

    Faith and Liberty’s Place named for Faith and Liberty Battaglia who were murdered by their father during an unsupervised visitation, provides supervised visitation and monitored exchanges for noncustodial parents to interact with their children in a safe and supportive environment. Referrals come from family courts, primarily from child custody cases where there is a history of family violence.

    Our 24-week program for batterers is a crucial part of ending family violence. Through this program, participants learn how to identify and change abusive behaviors, as well as how to have healthy relationships. By providing this program alongside Faith & Liberty’s Place, which also offers parenting classes, we are providing a comprehensive solution to the problem of family violence. Participants in both programs also have access to a range of resources and support at The Family Place, including counseling, legal aid, and case management services.

     

  • Meet Desiree Moore, Child Development Center Program Director

    by Briana Weible | Feb 23, 2023

    With more than 10 years of experience in teaching, Desiree Moore brings skills from various teaching genres and overseeing and directing schools with high-quality curriculums to her role as program director of our Child Development Center. Desiree has a passion for innovative thinking and creativity and works with a team of teachers and educational psychologists to make sure our Child Development Center provides high-quality care and education. Her dedication to innovation ensures that the center stays in line with the latest trends and practices in child development.

    Desiree leads a team of teachers and staff members in implementing child development programs, ensuring that each child’s needs are met while maintaining compliance with all state regulations. Desiree is also responsible for developing policies and procedures that promote the highest level of care and education for our children.

    Prior to this role, Desiree was the director of education at The Family Place, which allowed her to provide strategic leadership in all our education programs ensuring that they align with our mission and values. Prior to joining The Family Place, she held various leadership positions, including at The Goddard School and Children’s Lighthouse Learning Centers. She has also worked with Texas A&M on implementing programs in early childhood to create a healthy, fun way of learning for children who lack in other areas of life, such as food and shelter.

    Desiree’s educational background includes a master’s of Business Administration from Texas A&M University-Commerce as well as a bachelor’s degree in General Studies and an associate’s degree in Teaching from Blinn College. Desiree’s commitment to her work and passion for children’s education and well-being have made her an invaluable member of The Family Place team. She has elevated the center’s operations, and her leadership has provided a rich environment for children to learn and grow

  • Shop for a Cause—The Family Place’s Resale Shop Supports Survivors of Domestic Violence

    by Briana Weible | Feb 23, 2023

    The Family Place’s Resale Shop is a vital part of our mission to support survivors of domestic violence. The shop accepts donations of clothing, household items, and furniture from the community, which are then provided free of charge to clients in need. The store is staffed primarily by volunteers, and all excess inventory is sold to the general public to raise funds for our programs. Our exciting, seasonally appropriate merchandise is also sold to the general public.

    Located at 11722 Marsh Lane, Suite 354, at the southeast corner of the Park Forest Shopping Center, donations are accepted Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Furniture donations are only accepted on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. To ensure that donations meet the shop’s guidelines, items must be in closed containers or sealed garbage bags. Items that cannot be accepted include mattresses, office furniture, large appliances, and baby gear.

    The store is open to shoppers Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Our Resale Shop is known for carrying high-quality brands such as Tory Burch, Ralph Lauren, and Lululemon, making it a popular destination for thrifty shoppers.

    By donating and shopping at the Resale Shop, community members are supporting our vital work while also reducing waste and promoting sustainability. Come shop with us!

    For more information, call the Resale Shop at 214-358-0381.

  • The Family Place Advocates for Domestic Violence Victims and Survivors at Texas State Capitol

    by Briana Weible | Feb 23, 2023

    Our leadership and staff recently traveled to Austin to participate in Domestic Violence Advocacy Day. CEO Mimi Sterling and other representatives from the organization met with legislators to discuss the importance of continued support for survivors of domestic violence.

    During the meetings, The Family Place representatives highlighted funding priorities and policy initiatives for the legislative session. These included $88M in funding for family violence program services, $5M for offender accountability, and $600,000 for lethality risk reduction. We also advocated for updating survivor service provisions, codifying virtual hearings for protective orders, increasing access to justice for stalking survivors, and reducing lethality due to firearms.

    Domestic violence affects a staggering number of Texans, with 1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 men experiencing family violence. The lifesaving services provided by organizations like The Family Place are crucial to supporting survivors and ensuring their needs are met. Without funding from the state, local, and federal governments, these services would not be possible.

    The Family Place operates three shelters across Dallas County, providing survivors with safety, food, clothing, transportation, legal services, counseling, and case management. The demand for these emergency services continues to increase as the community grows, making funding and support from the government more critical than ever.

    Our representatives urged legislators to prioritize the safety of survivors of domestic violence and to hold offenders accountable for their actions. Our efforts at Domestic Violence Advocacy Day show our commitment to making a difference in the lives of those affected by domestic violence and our dedication to ensuring the continued support and funding necessary to provide lifesaving services to those in need.

  • Celebrating Women’s History Month and 45 Years of Saving Lives

    by Briana Weible | Feb 23, 2023

    The Family Place is celebrating Women’s History Month in March by reflecting on our roots and continuing our commitment to serving women and families in crisis. We were established in 1978 by a group of women who recognized the urgent need for a shelter for families suffering from domestic abuse. Today, we’re the largest family violence service provider in the state with comprehensive programs designed to empower survivors and prevent future abuse. 

    One of the key figures in the early days of The Family Place was Vivian Castleberry, a prominent women’s rights activist and journalist who helped shape the organization’s mission and name. Castleberry was one of several advisors to the group that would eventually become The Family Place. She believed that the name should reflect a welcoming and inclusive space for families in need and suggested The Home Place or The Family Place. The latter name was chosen and has since become synonymous with hope and healing for survivors of domestic violence in North Texas. 

    The Family Place has always been an organization led and supported by women. Today, the board of directors is made up of 60% women, while the executive team is 80% women. Across the organization, women make up 70% of the staff. This commitment to gender diversity reflects the values that underpin our work, which is rooted in the belief that all individuals deserve to live free from violence and abuse. 

    In addition to our direct services, we have been a leader in advocacy and community education around issues of domestic violence. We’ve worked with lawmakers to strengthen legal protections for survivors and have developed training programs for healthcare providers, educators, and law enforcement officials on how to recognize and respond to signs of abuse. By raising awareness of the impact of domestic violence on families and communities, we have helped create a safer and more supportive environment for survivors. 

    During Women’s History Month, we remain committed to our mission of providing lifesaving and life-changing services to women, children, and men affected by domestic violence. Through our unwavering dedication to empowerment, healing, and prevention, we continue to be a beacon of hope for those working to break the cycle of abuse and to build brighter futures.

  • A Memo from Mimi- February 2023

    by Briana Weible | Jan 30, 2023

    It’s a big year at The Family Place—our 45th anniversary—and we’re celebrating all year long with the theme of Building Brighter Futures. In this newsletter, we’ll be sharing stories about the many ways we’re doing that. Just look for the “45 Ways” heart icon to count along and learn how we’re making a difference together.

    The Family Place was one of the first family violence agencies and is now one of the largest in the country. As we focus on the future, we’ve identified six priorities to keep us growing in the right direction.

    The first focus is a big one—our budget for 2023 is $17 million. We have our work cut out for us to raise that much money—the largest budget in our history. To meet the needs of our clients takes a collective effort of our community coming together with their time, talent, and treasure.

    Our second focus area is Program Outcomes and Enhancements. We’re transitioning our service delivery model to work more in depth with clients resulting in even more impressive outcomes. Our chief client services officer has been hard at work auditing each program. Through these evaluations, we are making changes to better serve our clients. One of those changes is through our hotline where we have increased our answer rate from 65% to over 94% in a 12-month period.

    Since I joined The Family Place 18 months ago, I’ve worked to Invest in Talent & Infrastructure, which is our third 2023 focus area. We’re continuing to develop our high-performance workforce to improve our infrastructure, including a new safety alert system for the organization. In addition, we need to continue to attract and retain top talent to grow our team. In this newsletter you can read about some of the great jobs we have open, so please pass those on to candidates in your circle.

    We’re continuing to Invest in Our Culture through trust, transparency, communication, fun, and better benefits. We’re also enhancing our employee value proposition to make The Family Place a premier employer of choice.

    The Family Place Board of Directors has always been one of our greatest assets. In 2023, we’re working to increase board/client mentoring relationships to fully utilize the important resources we have on our side.

    Finally, we’re Refreshing Our Brand with input from a diverse committee of stakeholders. The Family Place has a strong and recognizable brand, but even the best brands need a polish every once in a while!

    Stay tuned for updates on these initiatives throughout the year, and, as always, thank you for your support!

    With gratitude,

     

     

     

     

    Mimi Sterling

    CEO