Last year, he continued, Amy’s Closet provided some $24,000 toward the group’s domestic violence-related services or about 10 percent of its operational budget.
And due to that success, as of May 3, the coalition has opened a second location. It’s in Lincolnton at 201 S. Cedar St., situated at the intersection of South Cedar and East Water streets, as Dalton revealed.
“We’re very excited about the potential of this new location,” he said. “This location of Amy’s Closet will sell similar items to those at the Denver location: women’s clothes, shoes and accessories, plus a few higher-quality household items.”
Both locations, said Dalton, are staffed and operated solely by volunteers. Shasta Steele, the coalition’s board president, founded Amy’s Closet on behalf of the group. She acts as the manager of the two stores. Since everyone who performs the work of operating the stores is a volunteer, it means that all the money raised––beyond paying rent, utilities and other operational expenses––goes directly to the work of the organization for its domestic violence-related services.
“Additionally,” said Dalton, “we have been well-supported by the community through the donation of clothes and other items to sell, as well as by a consistent base of shoppers who support us while finding great items at a great price. One other benefit of Amy’s Closet has been that we use the Denver store––and will continue to use both stores––as a place to raise awareness of the issue of domestic violence and to offer information about escaping domestic violence. Our Amy’s Closet locations serve as reminders to our community that domestic violence is an issue faced by many in Lincoln County and that our board of directors, staff and volunteers are working to address this problem.”
Caring citizens, working to change lives
As an organization, the Lincoln County Coalition Against Domestic Violence was founded 23 years ago by a group of caring citizens. They were concerned that there was no local group working to assist and advocate for domestic violence victims in order to help them escape physically abusive relationships. This group opened Amy’s House in January, 1995, Dalton informed.
“In the 20-plus years since then,” he said, “the coalition has grown to offer an holistic set of services to enable victims of domestic violence to escape their abusive situations; to find a place of safety; and to build new lives beyond their abuse.”
The coalition offers the following services to domestic violence victims and their families:
- a 24-hour crisis/services line (704) 736-1224;
- the 16-bed shelter of Amy’s House;
- court and restraining order advocacy;
- job skills and placement assistance;
- educational advocacy;
- housing search assistance;
- a survivors’ support group;
- counseling referrals;
- financial skills and assistance;
- medical advocacy;
- and case management services.
In the last year, the coalition has assisted more than 150 domestic violence victims to make a change away from their abusive situations, Dalton noted.
“We provided over 3,500 shelter nights to those with nowhere else to go, due to domestic violence, and over 2,000 service contacts to victims of domestic violence and their families,” he said. “Additionally, we provided education and training about domestic violence to over 500 people in our community. Because of the work of the board, staff and volunteers of the LCCADV, we see lives changed, as victims of domestic violence in our community turn into survivors, and they establish new lives away from abuse. We are able to do that because of the support of those who fund our work through grants.”
He said this includes the North Carolina Council for Women and the United Way of Lincoln County, amongst others. It’s also because of the direct support of many individuals, churches and businesses in the Lincoln County community. And the volunteers and supporters of the Amy’s Closet locations also play an important and growing role in the work and success of the organization and the success of the victims the coalition serves.
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