For almost 30 years, the Cherokee Family Violence Center has provided safety, support, and shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children that live in Cherokee County, Georgia.
It began because a committee of the Canton First United Methodist Church felt that there was a strong need to help domestic violence victims in Cherokee County. In August, 1984, this committee began gathering statistics from the local hospital, police, judicial system and other social service agencies, as well as visiting other battered women’s shelters in the state. Cherokee Family Violence Center (CFVC) was incorporated as a non-profit organization on July 2, 1985, with by-laws and a working Board of Directors. In April, 1986 CFVC received its tax-exempt status, non-profit status from the Internal Revenue Service.
On June 26, 1987, our first 24-hour crisis hotline was operational and the first shelter began sheltering our first families in November of that same year. CFVC’s first support groups began in January of 1988 and in May of that year, we moved into a larger shelter which could accommodate 12 women and children. As the needs of the community began to grow, the agency established an Outreach Office and began offering assistance in filing Temporary Emergency Protective Orders in 1994. Beginning in2003, CFVC expanded our Outreach and Support Services to include services designed especially to meet needs of the growing Latino community with the introduction of the Multicultural Program and the only 24-hour Spanish language crisis hotline in Georgia.
Later in 2003, CFVC partnered with NuRock Development Corporation to build a $6.8 million, 72- unit Transitional Housing Apartment Complex, specifically for victims of domestic violence and their children. This project was made possible through funding provided by the Department of Community Affairs and in January, 2005, the first families moved into Hearthstone Landing . This income-based apartment complex is comprised of two, three and four bedroom apartments and is home to 70 women and 125 children, making it the only project of its type in Georgia and one of the largest in the United States. In 2006, this project was awarded the Magnolia Award for Special Achievement in Affordable Housing by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
Over the years, CFVC has continued to expand the services that we offer to victims of domestic violence in our community. We now provide on-site support services to both English and Spanish speaking clients living in our Transitional Housing Program. In addition, we can now provide Transportation Assistance throughout the county through our Van Program and provide direct Legal Assistance to victims who need help with divorce, child custody and other civil legal issues.
Most recently in the Fall of 2011, CFVC became the only domestic violence program in Georgia to receive accreditation by the United States Board of Immigration and Appeals to be able to directly assist immigrant victims of domestic violence with immigration appeals and protections.
All of these services help the Cherokee Family Violence Center achieve our goal to provide a comprehensive array of services that meets the needs of victims of domestic violence, educates stakeholders, and holds batterers accountable so that victims and our community are safe.