$400K federal grant will help establish Macon Family Justice Center

The Macon Family Justice Center will help combat domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse.

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A new grant will help the Crisis Line & Safe House of Central Georgia establish a family justice center in Macon.

According to a Crisis Line & Safe House news release, the Macon Family Justice Center will help combat domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse.

“Once the Family Justice Center opens, there will be one location where local residents experiencing abuse can go to access life-saving services from a variety of non-profit organizations and criminal justice agencies, who will each have a representative located in the Center,” Crisis Line & Safe House Executive Director Dee Simms said. “We hope this new model of providing services will alleviate many of the obstacles that hinder victims from reaching our doors, such as traveling to multiple locations to receive services and repeating their story over and over again.”

The $400,000 federal grant will be distributed over four years. The funds will also support a site coordinator who will lead the community in the planning and opening of the Center by early 2023. The Crisis Line & Safe House plans to hire the site coordinator by January 2021.

A number of partners have already committed to helping plan and launch the Family Justice Center, including the Crisis Line & Safe House, Crescent House Children’s Advocacy Center, Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, Bibb County Solicitor’s Office, Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia Legal Services Program, Family Counseling Center, Central Georgia CASA and Mayor-Elect Lester Miller.

The grant is administered by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council under the Family Justice Center Initiative.

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Shelby Coates is an evening anchor/producer at 41NBC News. She anchors the 5, 5:30, and 6 evening newscasts. She also works behind the scenes producing the 5:00pm and managing newsroom assignments. She returns to 41NBC after working in Evansville, Indiana as the Morning/Noon Anchor and Executive Producer for WEVV. Shelby also spent time in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where she spent three years anchoring and producing the weekend morning newscasts at WSPA-TV. She also worked as a general assignment reporter, receiving several honors for her investigative and consumer reporting. Shelby has spent time working as a news anchor/reporter in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Macon, Georgia; and Abilene, Texas. Shelby is a native of Clarksville, Tennessee. She graduated from Abilene Christian University in Texas with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor in sociology. Shelby has a passion for empowering local communities, church ministry, public speaking, strengthening women and mentoring young people.