On the heels of celebrating its five-year anniversary, the Buncombe County Family Justice Center (FJC) looks to continue its work with a mix of grants and County funding. On Sept. 21, Commissioners approved accepting a two-year grant worth nearly $875,000 from the Governor’s Crime Commission (GCC) and supplementing an additional $258,413 over the next two fiscal years ($96,905 for the current fiscal year). The additional County funding is needed as there have been cuts in money awarded by the GCC that could decrease key FJC positions by some 23%, or a reduction of about 75 hours a week of specialized services.
Family Justice Division Manager Paulina Mendez notes the pandemic has created a pivotal moment for survivors seeking FJC services. “We're still feeling the effects of COVID-19. We know intimate partner violence is happening, and it's crucial to be able to maintain our level of service,” explains Mendez. “The FJC is here in large part due to the County's leadership and commitments made to our partners and community. Domestic and sexual violence is so stigmatized in our society, and seeing the action to financially support our mission reinforces that we are committed to offering a path toward healing where survivors will be listened to and supported without judgment.”
The FJC is also actively seeking other state- and federal-level sources of funding to continue and improve its vital mission. Since opening in 2016, the FJC has provided services to 2,554 unduplicated people at its one-stop resource center at 35 Woodfin St. That number doesn’t include additional survivors helped by partner agencies outside our consolidated intake service. To learn more about the FJC’s services, its effect on our community, and more, click here.