Micah’s Place

Daily Point of Light # 3427 Mar 23, 2007

Micah's Place, Inc. is a 501© (3) nonprofit and the only certified domestic violence center serving the residents of Nassau County, FL. Micah's Place offers safe emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence. Micah's Place also offers outreach programs, including legal advocacy, and community education and awareness programs.

Micah's Place began in 1999, with a group of concerned volunteers who knew that survivors of domestic violence needed a safe place to go. In June of 2003, Micah's Place began offering outreach services, counseling, information and referrals via a 24-hour toll-free hotline. In December of 2003 the organization opened a 16-bed emergency shelter for survivors of domestic violence. Since opening, Micah's Place has provided more than 6,600 nights in its emergency shelter for victims.

In the past year, Micah's Place has created a Rural Outreach program, designed and implemented a Dating Violence Education and Prevention Program, conducted a Corporate Education Summit, developed an internship program, earned the distinction of becoming Florida's 41st Certified Domestic Violence Center, and maintained a volunteer base of almost 400 people.

Domestic violence victims in rural areas in Nassau County are among the most isolated in the state. According to the Florida Rural Development Council, Nassau County is considered a rural community with fewer than 100 persons per square mile and the last census of 2000 notes a total of 57,663 people. Before the existence of Micah's Place and the services it offers, many victims had to travel 40-50 miles to reach shelter, advocacy, and counseling services. Many victims of domestic violence in Nassau County do not have the ability to summon emergency assistance, identify and access supportive services or resources. The isolation is also a barrier to actual resources, such as training and education. Micah's Place has designed a special Rural Outreach program to meet the needs of these survivors. This program addresses the special needs and concerns that rural population face, such as isolation.

With the growing awareness of the services, volunteers help meet victims' needs. As a certified shelter, all volunteers must complete intensive 30 hour training before serving in the hotline call center and as advocates for victims. Both services must be available 24/7. Volunteers ensure this availability and that when victims are in crisis or rely on a comforting hand while becoming self-reliant.