The Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Nonviolence (The Center) has been providing support and services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault; and to family members of homicide victims in Jackson and George Counties for more than thirty years. The 2010 closing of the Salvation Army Domestic Violence Shelter in Pascagoula left a huge gap in services for domestic violence victims in that area. To address the immediate needs of domestic violence victims in Jackson and George Counties and close this gap, the Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Nonviolence will open a Domestic Violence Shelter facility in Jackson County. The Center will ensure victims of domestic violence have necessary emergency shelter and access to a comprehensive array of services, including crisis intervention, individual and group counseling for adults and children, court advocacy, case management and childcare.
An Advisory Board has been appointed to work with the Center’s Staff and Board of Directors to provide guidance, knowledge, support and serve as a community liaison. Members are community leaders, elected officials, concerned individuals, law enforcement personnel and a previous Center client. Advisory Board Member, Representative Brandon Jones expressed his support stating, “ It’s a great comfort to know that Jackson and George County families weathering violence in the home will have a safe haven. I appreciate the Gulf Coast Women’s Center’s willingness to stand in the gap with hurting women and children and welcome their renewed presence in our community. “
The Center received a $100,000 grant from Behavioral Health Grant Program established in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill administered by the Mississippi State Department of Mental Health for the start up of the emergency shelter. Sandra Morrison, Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Nonviolence said, “We really want to thank the Dept of Mental Health for making this award available and supporting these crucial domestic violence services in Jackson and George Counties.” “Providing a readily available safe space for victims can and will save lives”, added Ms. Morrison.
Stacey Myers, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, has been a counselor with the Center for over ten years and has been appointed as the Shelter Director for the Jackson and George County facility. Ms. Myers brings with her a commitment to serving domestic violence clients, expertise in therapeutic and program needs for domestic violence victims, knowledge of domestic violence laws and experience in shelter management and grant writing.
Stacey Myers stated, “We expect the shelter to be fully operational and providing safe housing to women and their children in about 2 months. We will immediately inform the community and law enforcement as soon as the shelter facility is opened. In the meantime, we want to remind the public and clients that shelter services are available in Biloxi and individual counseling is available in Pascagoula.” Ms Myers added, “We currently have three telephone lines for the victims and public to reach us: Crisis Line 228-762-8267, Toll Free 1-800-800-1396 and Office 228-875-5433.”
If you are experiencing domestic violence or would like additional information regarding programs and services, contact the Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Nonviolence at 228-762-8267.