Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has awarded grants totaling $3.8 million to support organizations that assist victims of crime across Alabama. The grants will enable the nonprofit agencies to provide a variety of services to those who have been victims of sexual assault, elder abuse, sex trafficking, domestic violence and other crimes.

“Those who have unfortunately been victimized need professional help as they escape abusive situations and begin navigating the criminal justice system,” Ivey said. “I am pleased to support these organizations as they work to help victims find the assistance they need on their road to recovery.”

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from federal money made available to Alabama by the U.S. Department of Justice.

“ADECA stands with Ivey as she continues to support the work of these organizations that help victims of crime every day in Alabama,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “Through ADECA’s partnerships with these organizations, victims will have the help they need to begin rebuilding their lives.”

Ivey awarded the following grants:

The state’s Office of Prosecution Services (OPS) received $2.5 million to provide victim service officers who assist victims as their cases progress through the criminal justice system. The funds will also be used to continue utilizing Certified Facility Dog Handlers who are specially trained to assist victims of crime who may be frightened or nervous about testifying. Certified Facility Dogs assist victims of crime by reducing anxiety.

OPS said on their website that they and the “Alabama District Attorneys are fortunate to work with dedicated partners in the criminal justice arena.   OPS cherishes our professional relationships within each branch of state and federal government as well as other advocacy groups and professional associations.  These valued partners work with us to engage in the process with the sole motivation to keep Alabama’s criminal justice system fair, just, and effective.  At OPS, our stock and trade is our zealous work ethic and our earned reputation for giving an honest and fair opinion regardless of its consequence.  It is our nature as prosecutors to stand in hard places, say things that need to be said and fight fights that need to be fought.” To learn more:

Victims of Crime and Leniency (VOCAL) received $177,609 to provide advocacy, justice system assistance, referrals, and assistance with filing compensation claims to victims and families of victims of robbery and homicide.

VOCAL has an approximate membership of 1900 with chapters throughout the state. The diverse Board of Directors consists of attorneys, financial institution officers, educators, new media, and crime victims. The organization has expanded its advocacy to include free counseling from a certified counselor, support at trials and parole hearings, crime scene cleanup, death notification, informing the victims of their rights, and apprising the public of the plight of crime victims. To learn more:

The WellHouse received $600,787 to provide shelter/housing services and assistance with filing compensation claims to victims of sex trafficking.

The WellHouse offers emergency-, short-, and long-term restoration programs to female victims of human trafficking. The group provides, “Residential, therapeutic programs to female victims of human trafficking who have been sexually exploited, offering medical, spiritual, mental, and emotional care. We welcome women and girls of all ages, and mothers with their children. Regardless of race, color, creed, or religion, survivors in pain can be assured they will find love and acceptance at The WellHouse.” To learn more:

The One Place Family Justice Center which provides services in Autauga, Butler, Chilton, Crenshaw, Elmore, Lowndes and Montgomery counties, received $22,500 to provide services such as advocacy, justice system assistance, referrals and assistance with compensation claims to victims of elder abuse and human trafficking.

According to their website, “ONE PLACE is a safe place for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, child and elder abuse to find help. Victims benefit from receiving combined, comprehensive service in one location.  Over twenty (20) different state and local agencies and civic groups partner with ONE PLACE to make existing services more efficient, effective, and accessible to victims.” To learn more:

Penelope House Inc. serves Choctaw, Clarke, Mobile and Washington counties. They received $282,248 to provide justice system assistance, referrals and assistance with compensation claims to victims of domestic or family violence.

According to their website, “Penelope House helps victims of intimate partner violence to gain social and economic independence through shelter, counseling, advocacy, and referral to community resources and agencies in Mobile, Washington, Choctaw, and Clarke counties in Alabama.  The shelter can provide refuge for victims and their children when their lives are in imminent danger. Temporary shelter allows escape from a violent situation. The prevention of domestic violence through education and public awareness is the goal of Penelope House.” To learn more:

Family Counseling Center of Mobile Inc., which serves Mobile County, received $138,380 to provide advocacy, shelter/housing services, justice system assistance, referrals and assistance with compensation claims to victims of elder abuse, identity theft, financial crimes, homicide and violent crime.

“The Lifelines/Family Counseling Center of Mobile offers assistance to adolescents, children and adults with issues related to marital and family difficulties, school and employment adjustment, low self-esteem, childhood disorders, and feelings of frustration, anger and aggression.”

Birmingham AIDS Outreach Inc. (BAO) received $145,000. BAO serves Blount, Cullman, Jefferson, Madison, St. Clair, Shelby, Tuscaloosa and Walker counties. The grant is to provide referrals, emotional or safety services and assistance with compensation claims.

​Birmingham AIDS Outreach said on their site, “BAO has been saving and transforming lives since 1985 as Alabama's first AIDS Service Organization.  The agency was founded as a “grass-roots” response to the devastating and fatal impact HIV/AIDS was having on the Birmingham community. Today BAO provides free services to over 800 HIV-positive individuals and touches thousands of lives through community events, HIV testing, and prevention outreach. The mission of BAO is to enhance the quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS, at-risk, affected individuals, and the LGBTQ community through outreach, age-appropriate prevention education, and supportive services.” To learn more visit their site at:

ADECA manages a wide array of programs that support law enforcement and traffic safety, energy conservation, water resource management, economic development and recreation.

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