An Onslow County nonprofit has received a $2 million grant that will help double the number of children it ministers each year.
One Place, an Onslow County nonprofit that brings hope to families by connecting them to resources and programs to end child abuse, has received a $2 million check from the State Employees Credit Union Foundation to help support the Establishing a new child advocacy support resource facility, according to a recent press release from the foundation. It is called The SECU Hope Center.
The SECU Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes local community development in North Carolina, made this grant just 14 months after awarding a Mission Development Grant to One Place to develop financial strategies for the facility’s expansion and sustainability, it said in the press release.
“This is truly historic as we embark on the journey to our eternal home,” said Dawn Rochelle, CEO of One Place, in the press release. “As we think about what’s needed in this community, we know we need expanded mental health services for children, we know we need expanded capacity to support victims of child abuse, and we also know we need more preventative services.” to need.”
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The SECU Hope Center, according to the press release, will include a psychiatric hospital with on-site medical services to help victims of physical and sexual abuse and human trafficking. It will also increase One Place’s capacity by 50% to serve 600 children and families annually.
Rochelle added that the investment also allows One Place to develop a space that can be used in a variety of ways, both in times of disaster and as a place for multidisciplinary training.
The Child Advocacy Center is a coordinated community response to a child who has been reported to law enforcement or the Department of Social Services as abused or neglected, Rochelle said, adding One Place has two pediatric nurses and forensic interviewers.
“The goal is for the child to tell the story once,” Rochelle said. “So that the child doesn’t have to tell the story over and over again and we create an environment where there is hope and healing. You have to be able to gather evidence and not worry the kid any more.”
Rochelle said the project is expected to cost around $16 million. Last year, she said the General Assembly invested $8 million and One Place received that $2 million when they raised funds to finalize the building’s payment.
She added that the community is young, ephemeral and growing. For this reason, One Place’s goal is to be sustainable so that in 20-30 years the services will be both more extensive and better.
“The building is going to be fantastic,” said Rochelle. “Our community deserves this, our children deserve this. What we also feel so urgently is that we need to be able to offer the service, to double our capacity within the Children’s Advocacy Center to be able to provide more support to our multidisciplinary partners and to be able to really develop that bit of child mental health.”
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Rochelle said all of One Place’s operations will move to the space and they will own the building. She said their current facility is fully operational and nationally accredited, but they don’t own the building. She added that she hopes that sometime in the near future they will finally see a decrease in child abuse and neglect.
Before the Child Advocacy Center began in 2010, Rochelle said children had to go to Greenville to get the resources they needed. She said her goal from the start was for people to be able to come onto the property and just breathe out, knowing they would find help, even if they weren’t sure what exactly they needed.
“But we’re on point, particularly with the number of sibling groups we’re seeing, we really need the capacity to be able to double our operations,” Rochelle said. “Unfortunately, I say that it is so widespread. But then again, we’re so excited to offer this dedicated community space for children’s mental health. We have some great providers that we relate to in the community and we will continue to do so, but population growth continues and we are all struggling to keep up for those of us who are service providers. We try to meet the demand.”
Rochelle said all of these investments have timelines and the plan is to have a groundbreaking next June, which also happens to be One Place’s 25th birthday. The building is scheduled to open in spring 2025.
For more information and to follow construction progress, visit oneplaceonslow.org.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this organization’s incredible journey to launch a new counseling and resource center for children,” said Bob Brinson, Executive Chairman of the SECU Foundation. “One Place has been serving families in this region for over 20 years and their passion, determination and hard work have earned them well-deserved recognition. Their programs and services are invaluable to the community – the support of the foundation, and the support of so many others, will ensure that its mission of helping those in need continues for years to come.”
Reporter Morgan Starling can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.