DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Governor Kay Ivey has awarded grants totaling over $500,000 to nonprofit organizations.
The grant money given by Ivey will be used to support and assist crime victims here in the Wiregrass.
The Exchange Center for Child Abuse Prevention has been a figure in the Wiregrass since 1978 and offers free, confidential support for abuse victims of all ages and genders. Their masters level counselors offer therapy, support groups, in-home care and training.
“We see child and adult survivors of sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, domestic violence, and children who have witnessed domestic abuse,” executive director Pamela Miles said. “We do a lot of trauma therapy in an effort to provide healing and to break the cycle ultimately of child abuse neglect.”
The Exchange Center provides their services to victims in Barbour, Coffee, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston, and Pike counties, and now a $307,000 grant will help the center continue serving those areas.
“The state feels that victims shouldn’t have to pay for services, for healing, and we agree,” Miles said. “So, because of that funding, we’re able to hire licensed clinicians who are specifically trained in trauma therapy to be able to offer healing and support to people who have suffered unimaginable crimes.”
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Justice, and Miles said that it’s so profound to be able to help people.
“The clients that we see here, the services that we provide are completely free,” Miles said. “All they have to do is show up. We have specially trained people who I know can provide healing and hope for them, and we’re so incredibly blessed and happy to be able to be here for them.”
Along with grants, the center relies on donations to ensure that free services remain available year-round.