By Kate Elizabeth Queram

Read the original story HERE

COLFAX — The Family Justice Center, which has helped thousands of victims of domestic and family violence since opening in 2015, may add a site to better serve High Point.

The Guilford County Board of Commissioners plans to move forward — cautiously — with the expansion.

“We’ve got to be methodical about it, and deliberate,” Commissioner Hank Henning said Thursday on the first day of the board’s annual retreat. “Stretching staff too thin and moving too quickly is really a recipe that I don’t think we want to get into.”

The first step in the expansion process will be to reconvene a subcommittee that helped plan and open the county’s existing Family Justice Center, located in downtown Greensboro across the street from the Phill G. McDonald Plaza.

The center, which opened in June 2015, provides dozens of services for victims of domestic and family violence. A collaborative effort between Guilford County and the city of Greensboro, the building houses a multitude of agencies and care providers, with the goal of making the justice system easier for victims to navigate.

Since opening, the center has served 8,594 people, according to Catherine Johnson, its executive director. More than two-thirds of those clients live in Greensboro. By contrast, just 2 percent came from High Point.

Commissioners said Thursday that the disparity is partially due to a lack of public transportation between the two cities. But the location of the Greensboro facility is a larger factor, Johnson said, as many clients are funneled there from the courthouse across the street.

Still, there’s a demonstrated need for services in High Point, said Commissioner Carlvena Foster.

“I hear children say, ‘I’m so tired of him fighting my mom every day,’” said Foster, who works as an administrator with the High Point YMCA. “I see these things every day, so I really do know the needs.”

Commissioners said they supported the idea of expansion but wanted to make sure the process did not stress the existing Family Justice Center.