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Mercer County Family Crisis Center

Mission:
The mission of the Mercer County Family Crisis Center is to support and respond to the needs of survivors of violence and/or abuse as well as their dependents in an effort to avoid further abuse.

Non-profit description:
The Mercer County Family Crisis Center is a nonprofit agency dedicated to breaking the cycle of domestic violence and building a community free of abuse. The mission of the Mercer County Family Crisis Center is to support and respond to the needs of survivors of violence and/or abuse as well as their dependents in an effort to avoid further abuse. Since 1984 the Mercer County Family Crisis Center has helped hundreds of victims of domestic violence and their non-offending family members in numerous ways. The staff is presently made up of the executive director, two legal advocates, a children's advocate, and an administrative assistant. Services provided include a 24-hour crisis hotline, supportive listening and advocacy, temporary shelter, information and referrals, counseling, and follow-up services. Some other services available include transportation, providing information about the causes and consequences of domestic violence, training for those working with domestic violence victims, and addressing the trauma experienced by child victims/witnesses. The Family Crisis Center has been an accredited member of the National Children's Alliance since 2000. As a Children's Advocacy Center staff works with children who make allegations of sexual or severe physical abuse. Each child is provided with a forensic interview with counseling/therapy made available to them and their non-offending caretakers. Every interview is recorded to DVD and audio equipment while the interview is watched on closed-circuit television by child protection services, law enforcement, and court professionals. This program has resulted in an increased number of arrests and convictions of those who abuse our children. All services are provided at no cost.

Communities served:
Aledo, Joy, New Boston, Keithsburg, Viola, New Windsor, Alexis, Seaton, Reynolds, Eliza, Millersburg, Matherville, Sherrard, Preemption (All of Mercer County as well as neighboring counties.)

Why we deserve the makeover:
While Mercer County borders Rock Island County and all that the Quad Cities area has to offer, the fact remains that this county is extremely rural. There are churches, food pantries, and Project NOW (helps with low income housing) in Mercer County but the Family Crisis Center is the only 'social service' agency. The Family Crisis Center primarily depends on government funding, both state and federal, because there are no foundations, corporations, or large businesses located here. These funds are primarily designated to pay personnel expenses as required by the grantors. To win this contest would mean that the Family Crisis Center would be better able to serve our communities. One of our long-term goals is to provide education and information to the residents of our county. Improving our office technology will result in victims of abuse/violence being better able to access information about services available. Improving office technology would also improve personnel productivity as data collection and reporting to grantors would be easier. Finally, it would be a great morale boost to the staff and volunteers of the Family Crisis Center. Who doesn't feel good when many years of hard work are acknowledged by someone outside the agency?

Website/YouTube Video:
http://youtu.be/7TdJ3MvatD0, http://youtu.be/7TdJ3MvatD0