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Message from the Director

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reta2019

It is a special privilege to be Executive Director for Family Refuge Center which has served the region for over 40 years. My first year has certainly been a learning experience which presented our greatest challenge yet: COVID-19. We know challenges related to this pandemic will continue to shape our work moving forward as well.

A little about myself first: I am a life-long resident of Pocahontas County and have worked as an advocate at Family Refuge Center prior to becoming director. As a former elected official, I have an intimate understanding of our state and local governments which has assisted with providing insight to how Family Refuge Center operates. Additionally, I have held corporate positions managing operations and budgets. Our Board of Directors and I are working on a new strategic plan for the next three years and look forward to sharing that vision with you later this year.

We continue to work on improvements to the Anne Blair House Emergency Shelter to enhance not only the safety of our residents, but offer a comfortable place to heal and focus on next steps towards independence following abuse. Family Refuge Center has also contracted with a VOCA Trauma Therapist so that we can offer individual counseling for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, stalking, or harassment. Most exciting is the addition of a new vehicle to help with transportation at the shelter to ensure our residents can get to doctor appointments, interviews, and court appearances.

While the pandemic has closed offices temporarily, we do continue to meet with clients over the phone and in-person on an emergency basis with hospital accompaniments and to assist with law enforcement or magistrate court services. We have also continued to provide community education through social media and other virtual platforms. We are practicing social distancing and limiting contact to minimize exposure not only for our clients, but also for the safety of our staff.

I am looking forward to meeting with community members and sharing the success stories of our program and to develop more opportunities to include volunteers in our work. We truly appreciate all the donations we have received and look forward to again being able to accept furniture, clothes and other in-kind materials. While it may be some time still before we can host in-person events, please follow us on Facebook and other social media to see our virtual activities. Monetary donations are always welcome and help to provide necessities for residents and staff time that are not provided for in government funding, as well as assist with day-to-day operations so we may keep our doors open for years to come.

As we learn to navigate in this new era, Family Refuge Center will continue to be here to help those individuals who are experiencing abuse in all forms. We do have some plaques left on our special 40th Anniversary tree to showcase in our main office that will incorporate our logo with a goal of raising $40,000 in our 40th year of operations. If you would like to reserve a spot on our tree, or if you would like to make a donation please visit our donation button on the website or send checks to: PO Box 249, Lewisburg, WV 24901.

We are truly grateful for the support of our community partners and individuals who bring in donations and monetary contributions. Your part in helping us to empower survivors has enabled us to help an average of 800 clients per year, and provide over 2,200 nights of shelter annually.

Stay safe and remember, we will get through this time together as long as we support each other and our local communities.

Sincerely,

Reta Griffith
Executive Director

Family Refuge Center is a community-based domestic violence project serving Pocahontas, Greenbrier, and Monroe Counties in southeast West Virginia. We are committed to ending physical, sexual, and emotional abuse in families. We encourage and promote healthy family life based on mutual respect and support for all family members.

Family Refuge Center is a community-based domestic violence project serving Pocahontas, Greenbrier, and Monroe Counties in southeast West Virginia. We are committed to ending physical, sexual, and emotional abuse in families. We encourage and promote healthy family life based on mutual respect and support for all family members.