OAKRIDGETODAY.COM—ORNL Federal Credit Union recently announced that the Anderson County Family Justice Center (ACFJC) would be leasing office space in their building located on Broadway Avenue in Oak Ridge, TN. ORNL FCU also underwrote a number of improvements to make the space more conducive to the non-profit’s needs.
In July 2019, the ACFJC was created by a state-funded grant aimed at helping combat child abuse, domestic abuse, and elder abuse; there are a total of 13 centers throughout the state. The organization’s purpose is to provide a safe, convenient location to help victims of abuse break the cycle of violence and become thriving survivors.
ACFJC partners with 15 local organizations, such as Helen Ross McNabb, YWCA Knoxville & the Tennessee Valley, Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee & the Cumberlands, and the 7th Judicial District Attorney General’s office, to offer free and confidential resources to victims. Types of services offered include law enforcement, mental health, legal assistance, and temporary housing.
The original grant provided funds for the District Attorney’s office to hire Executive Director Melissa Miller; a second grant was awarded on February 1, 2021. It allows for the non-profit to lease the necessary office space to accommodate two additional grant-funded positions, as well as provide space for employees of partner organizations. The organization plans to open its doors and begin providing services to victims of abuse in July 2021.
“The Family Justice Center will make things better for victims and our community as a whole. This would not be possible without the inspiring generosity and community commitment of ORNL FCU,” said 7th Judicial District Attorney General Dave Clark.
President and CEO of ORNL FCU, Colin Anderson said the Credit Union originally became involved with Attorney General Dave Clark’s efforts to increase awareness of elder financial abuse. “When we learned of his involvement with the ACFJC, we immediately recognized the potential for an even greater partnership. This facility is conveniently located for all of the ACFJC services and we look forward to a long-lasting relationship,” said Anderson.
The Credit Union has owned the 301/303 Broadway Avenue building since 2001. ACFJC will utilize approximately 50% of the shared space at 301 Broadway beginning around March 1, 2021. The 301 portion of the building faces Broadway Avenue, while 303 is the lower part of the building, facing W. Tennessee Avenue. The Credit Union’s Facilities Department currently operates out of the 303 Broadway space.
ORNL FCU has used the building as office space for various departments over the years. When the Credit Union’s headquarters was remodeled and its Northshore hub was completed in 2017, employee’s located at 301/303 Broadway were moved and the space was used for storage. Much of the furniture that was stored was donated to ACFJC and other Anderson County government agencies.
"The Anderson County Family Justice Center is thrilled to be working with ORNL FCU,” said Miller. “ORNL FCU's generosity has not only allowed the FJC to be housed in an ideal site for serving some of the most vulnerable in Anderson County, but their large furniture donation has also allowed us to outfit the entire building with all our furniture needs. Money not spent on furniture allows us to spend funds on other much needed services. The support of the FJC mission and goals shows the dedication and passion ORNL FCU has for serving the community. We're proud and grateful for the opportunity to work with such an amazing community partner and are eager to begin serving clients out of the beautiful new location."