Story by: LARRY FELTON JOHNSON

According to a public information release from the office of Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes, “her office and its partners have been awarded a four-year grant worth up to $400,000 to create a Family Justice Center, where victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse can receive services in a single location.”

The partners listed in the public information release include LiveSAFE Resources, SafePath Children’s Advocacy Center, Inc., the Cobb  County Government, the Cobb Sheriff’s Office and Police Department, the Solicitor General’s Office, and Legal Aid of Cobb County.

The partners will be able to have representatives in the new center to provide services to serve victims under one roof.

“It is exciting that Cobb County has such great collaboration and support among victim-service providers, law enforcement and county government that we were successful in seeking out this opportunity,” DA Holmes said in the public information release. “The partnering agencies are committed to the establishment of a Family Justice Center for our community so that we can serve the victim where they are rather than the victim having to seek services where the agencies are located. This streamlining of services will provide a safe place for victims and survivors to go to receive wrap-around and holistic services. I am devoted to leading in the planning, implementation, and ongoing partnership to build a Family Justice Center for Cobb County.”

Tracey B. Atwater, Executive Director of LiveSAFE Resources, said, “Too often, those seeking help after victimization must visit various service providers and agencies in order to get the assistance they need. This incredible new project will allow us and our community partners to better serve those in need by creating a collocated space, reducing barriers for victims seeking help,”

“What a great day for Cobb County citizens! The successful award from the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council of funding for a Family Justice Center will serve all citizens in Cobb County and further ensure victims of crime are able to have the best access to all the services they deserve.  SafePath is honored to be one of the partnering agencies as we work collaboratively to connect victims to services as they heal,” said Jinger Robins, Chief Executive Officer of SafePath Children’s Advocacy Center, Inc..

The grant is administered through Georgia’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council with federal dollars from the Victims of Crime Act. Only two other Georgia communities, Waycross and Macon, were awarded grants to create family justice centers. Savannah has the only existing center in Georgia.

Funds for the center come from federal dollars through the Victims of Crime Act, and the grant is administered by Georgia’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.

There will be a virtual community meeting in December to get community buy-in for the program.

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