Story By: John Huotari
ORNL Federal Credit Union recently announced that the Anderson County Family Justice Center would lease office space in its building located on Broadway Avenue in Oak Ridge. The credit union also underwrote a number of improvements to make the space more conducive to the nonprofit’s needs, a press release said.
In July 2019, the Anderson County Family Justice Center was created by a state-funded grant aimed at helping to combat child abuse, domestic abuse, and elder abuse, the press release said. There are a total of 13 centers throughout the state. The organization’s purpose is to provide a safe, convenient location to help victims of abuse break the cycle of violence and become thriving survivors.
The Anderson County Family Justice Center partners with 15 local organizations—such as Helen Ross McNabb, YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley, Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, and the Seventh Judicial District Attorney General’s office in Anderson County—to offer free and confidential resources to victims, the press release said. The types of services offered include law enforcement, mental health, legal assistance, and temporary housing.
The original grant provided funds for the district attorney’s office to hire Executive Director Melissa Miller; a second grant was awarded on February 1, 2021. It allows for the nonprofit to lease the necessary office space to accommodate two additional grant-funded positions, as well as provide space for employees of partner organizations, the press release said. The organization plans to open its doors and begin providing services to victims of abuse in July 2021.
“The Family Justice Center will make things better for victims and our community as a whole,” said Dave Clark, Seventh Judicial District attorney general. “This would not be possible without the inspiring generosity and community commitment of ORNL FCU.”
Colin Anderson, president and chief executive officer of ORNL FCU, said the credit union originally became involved with Clark’s efforts to increase awareness of elder financial abuse.
“When we learned of his involvement with the ACFJC, we immediately recognized the potential for an even greater partnership,” Anderson said. “This facility is conveniently located for all of the ACFJC services and we look forward to a long-lasting relationship.”
The credit union has owned the 301/303 Broadway Avenue building since 2001. ACFJC will use about 50 percent of the shared space at 301 Broadway beginning around March 1, the press release said. The 301 portion of the building faces Broadway Avenue, while 303 is the lower part of the building, facing West Tennessee Avenue. The credit union’s Facilities Department currently operates out of the 303 Broadway space, the press release said.
ORNL FCU has used the building as office space for various departments over the years. When the credit union’s headquarters was remodeled and its Northshore hub was completed in 2017, employee’s located at 301/303 Broadway were moved, and the space was used for storage. Much of the furniture that was stored was donated to ACFJC and other Anderson County government agencies, the press release said.
“The Anderson County Family Justice Center is thrilled to be working with ORNL FCU,” said Miller. “ORNL FCU’s generosity has not only allowed the FJC to be housed in an ideal site for serving some of the most vulnerable in Anderson County, but their large furniture donation has also allowed us to outfit the entire building with all our furniture needs. Money not spent on furniture allows us to spend funds on other much needed services. The support of the FJC mission and goals shows the dedication and passion ORNL FCU has for serving the community. We’re proud and grateful for the opportunity to work with such an amazing community partner and are eager to begin serving clients out of the beautiful new location.”
More information will be added as it becomes available.
You can contact John Huotari, owner and publisher of Oak Ridge Today, at (865) 951-9692 or email@example.com.