Charities to relocate domestic violence shelter

Rendering of shelter layout. (Graphic courtesy of Catholic Charities)

(Editor’s note: October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Catholic Charities has offered a way out for those in abusive situations for decades through counseling, advocacy and a shelter for women and children hoping to break the cycle of abuse. Bishop Joseph Kopacz recently announced that the shelter will soon have a new home. The bishop submitted the following reflection to area publications describing the new operation and inviting the community to step in and help.)
We at Catholic Charities are excited to know that in the near future the goal of a new domestic violence shelter will be realized in the city of Jackson. Early 2018, a newly renovated building will be providing a safe haven for adults and children suffering from the trauma of domestic violence and human trafficking.
Catholic Charities has provided this critical service since the 1980s and very soon we will be able to do so in a building specifically designed to serve this vulnerable population. It is challenging enough for an adult to leave a destructive relationship, but it is daunting to do so with children and youth who may or may not understand the gravity of the situation.
Our new shelter will be able to serve the children at each developmental stage while their parent or caregiver receives the support to begin again. We are so grateful for our dedicated staff at Catholic Charities who accompany our brothers and sisters, as well as for our benefactors whose generosity allows us to further our mission to serve and empower. Together we are a visible sign of Christ’s love.
The facility will be divided into three main functions: the housing area, a childcare center and offices for the administrative staff. The shelter will include eight bedrooms beautifully designed to meet the individual needs of the family. Staff members will be housed on-site to assist victims 24-hours a day. Other amenities will include a therapeutic group and counseling area, a suite of offices to assist victims, a family room, dining area and bathing facilities. The shelter will be confidentially located and will serve Copiah, Hinds, Rankin, Madison, Issaquena, Sharkey, Simpson, Yazoo and Warren counties.
The childcare program will offer individual and therapeutic groups/intervention to 35 children ranging in ages from six weeks to 12-years old. Trained staff and teachers will work in the program. The childcare program will offer enrichment activities with a well-designed playground in the rear of the building. Finally, a commercial-grade food preparation area will be onsite to prepare meals and snacks for the victims and children.
Work continues to make the shelter both safe and welcoming. The next step is to find partners in that effort. Contact the program directors for more information on how your parish, school, youth group or office can help in the final touches by calling 601-326-3714 or 601-326-3758.
Those who wish to help can also participate in the Purple Dress Run, an evening 5-K walk and run, Thursday, Oct. 19, at Hal and Mal’s in downtown Jackson. Register online by clicking the icon at