Story by: Scott D. Yost
After a year of existence, Guilford County is touting the success of the Family Justice Center in High Point, which is throwing itself a birthday party on Wednesday, Oct. 23.
According to county records, in its first year of serving people in High Point and the surrounding area, Guilford County’s second Family Justice Center has helped over 3,300 victims and clients.
Four years ago, the county opened its first Family Justice Center in Greensboro, which was regarded as such a success that the county followed it with another center in High Point that opened last fall.
The Family Justice Center in High Point will celebrate its one-year anniversary on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 4 p.m. at 505 E. Green Dr. in High Point. The event will include remarks by community leaders, music, a motivational presentation from survivors and tours of the center.
The purpose of both of the county’s family justice centers is to provide “a single point of access to services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and neglect, and elder abuse.” At the two centers, clients can get access to a wide range of services such as assistance filing a restraining order, safety-planning, guidance from law enforcement officers, legal counsel for civil and criminal issues and information on shelters and other community resources.
In a press release, Guilford County Family Justice Center Director Catherine Johnson stated that teamwork is playing a big role in the fight against violence.
“The collaborative efforts of the Family Justice Center partnership, which includes survivors, professionals, volunteers, and community members, have resulted in significant improvements in how victims access services, how services are provided and delivered, and how offenders are held accountable,” Johnson stated.
The High Point center has created new partnerships and provided a very active second access point for those seeking help. Onsite agencies now working from the High Point center include the High Point Police Department, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office, Family Service of the Piedmont, Legal Aid, Children’s Law Center of Central North Carolina, the Kellin Foundation and the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services.
Both centers also serve as a resource for community outreach and education on issues of family violence.
High Point Police Chief Kenneth Shultz stated in the press release: “As law enforcement, we can’t solve all the problems in our community. We know collaborative efforts are critical to our success. We know the Family Justice Center partnership is making a huge difference in our community and this was the right thing for High Point.”
The High Point center is open for walk-ins Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.