Circle of Hope is a private, non-profit, 501(c)3 multi-faceted domestic violence agency whose mission is to support, empower and bring hope to those affected by domestic violence through advocacy, awareness, education, and community partnerships.
Our goals are to provide 24-hour support and crisis intervention services for victims and their dependent children while assisting with developing and implementing plans for their safety and independence; to provide community education, training, and publicity about the issues and effects of domestic violence; and to adhere to professional policies and practices in order to maintain administrative excellence and sound financial management. A volunteer Board of Directors governs Circle of Hope. We encourage the inclusion of survivors of domestic violence on our Board, Staff, and Volunteer Program.
Circle of Hope officially serves Habersham, Stephens, and White counties and provides victims of abuse an array of services designed to ensure barriers are identified, needs are met, and safety and stability are achieved. All of Circle of Hope’s services are free and confidential. We are available to assist anyone who is a victim of domestic violence, regardless of national origin, religion, race, color, political affiliation, gender, age, ability, or sexual orientation. To ensure the safety of program participants and staff and volunteers, Circle of Hope’s emergency shelter facility is in a confidential location. Shelter and other services are accessed by calling our 24-hour hotline or by visiting our outreach office at 592 N. Main Street, Cornelia, GA.
Circle of Hope’s operating funds currently come from a combination of State and Federal grants, Habersham County United Way, United Way of Northeast Georgia, White County United Way, and with cash and in-kind donations from churches, civic organizations, corporations, and individuals. The costs associated with operating a staffed 24-hour Emergency Shelter and crisis line alone are enormous and requests for services continue to grow.
Circle of Hope is a 501(C)3 victim service agency that has been providing services to those experiencing domestic violence in Habersham, Stephens and White Counties since 1987. Circle of Hope’s mission is to support, empower and bring hope to those affected by domestic violence through advocacy, awareness, education and community partnerships.
Following a community needs study identifying the gap of services for victims in our area, Circle of Hope was formed and began offering crisis intervention and support group services. Volunteers spent two years remodeling a donated farmhouse and our Emergency Shelter Program opened in September 1990. A Legal Advocacy Program was implemented in 1997 to assist victims navigating the criminal justice system. In 2002, to better address the transportation barriers survivors in our rural service area were experiencing, Circle of Hope expanded our Legal Advocacy Program by opening satellite offices in Stephens and White counties. In 2002, services were enhanced by employing a bilingual advocate to offer comprehensive support services and support groups to Spanish speaking survivors.
In 2003, Circle of Hope implemented a school Prevention Program to provide violence prevention curriculum in K-12 and on college campuses to educate children and teens about healthy expression of feelings, self-esteem issues, bullying, and violence prevention. Recognizing the need for additional emergency shelter bed space, Circle of Hope constructed a new shelter facility in 2005, increasing our 10-bed shelter capacity to 17. Circle of Hope has historically recognized the importance of community education and awareness and therefore provides professional in-service trainings to businesses, social service agencies, and organizations, and also offers POST credit domestic violence training to ten law enforcement agencies located within our judicial circuit on an annual basis.
In an ongoing effort to meet the housing needs of the families we serve, Circle of Hope began offering extended housing assistance in 2007. Our first Transitional Housing program was implemented in 2007 through a partnership with the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence (GCADV). The project transitioned to a Rapid Re-Housing model in 2016 and currently provides housing assistance and support services to 12 families. We implemented an OVW Transitional Housing program in 2009. Utilizing a donated home, we offer both a communal living housing assistance program and a scattered site rental assistance program with five units in which survivors secure their own housing unit. In 2009, we also expanded our housing program offerings to offer Permanent Supportive Housing for survivors with disabilities, and in 2020 we implemented a domestic violence reentry pilot project in partnership with Lee Arrandale State Prison.
For over 30 years, Circle of Hope has provided support services to victims of domestic violence and their children. We employ a team of qualified staff who provide survivors with comprehensive services designed to ensure barriers are identified, needs are met, and safety and stability are achieved.