The Family Justice Center (FJC) provides free services for domestic violence victims and their children through an extensive collaboration with 13 partner agencies, all located at one secured, comfortable location, where victims can get all the services they need to safely escape abuse. Their main office is in downtown Buffalo, which is difficult for many potential clients to reach. In 2009, after the tragic murder of Assiya Hussain of Orchard Park, that community came together to work with the Family Justice Center to open a Southtowns Satellite.
So why not a satellite for the Northtowns? Surely there is a need for such a service here? These are exactly the questions asked by members and clergy of our church and Calvary Episcopal Church in Williamsville. This led to a meeting in early September of representatives of a few churches and temples with Mary Travers Murphy and representatives of the Family Justice Center. All agreed that a satellite is needed. The question is, does the community (Amherst – Clarence) see this need, and will they come together to request the board of the FJC to open a satellite here? That means we—the community—must find a suitable location and initiate start-up funding and needed volunteers. The FJC will work with us but the impetus is on the community.
At the first meeting, those of us in attendance agreed to go back to our congregations and work to find support for the project and also to publicize it to others, inviting all those interested in hearing more about the project to attend a meeting on Tuesday, October 30 at 7pm at Calvary Episcopal Church.
We already have support here at North. Most of us have heard Mary Murphy speak and more than 30 of us have toured the downtown center. We even have a little money. Now what we need is for some of you to attend the October 30th meeting. If you have any questions, please talk to Ann Eisenlord or JoAnne Alderfer.