MADISON — Space is a valued commodity at the Boone County Courthouse and the new judicial annex.
“The judge and probation officials are very much in need of space and we are getting requests from other officials and community outreach organizations as well,” said Boone County Administrator Jim Gore.
At the Boone County Commission’s last regular session meeting on Tuesday, May 6, a group that operates a family abuse program in Boone County approached commissioners about getting some office space near Magistrate Court.
“The YWCA of Charleston operates a ‘Resolve’ Family Abuse Program in Boone County,” said Tina Manns, Boone County Outreach Coordinator. “Resolve is only 1 of 14 licensed by the West Virginia Family Protection Services Board. It is the only licensed domestic violence program serving survivors in Boone, Clay and Kanawha counties of West Virginia.”
Manns said the group offers many services to domestic violence victims, as well as families and children in high conflict and risk cases. She said court advocates provide assistance in obtaining protective orders, preparing safety plans and attending family and Magistrate Court hearing. They also provide counseling services, referrals, support, court advocacy, transportation assistance to the shelter in Charleston and so much more.
“Resolve has a partnership withe Legal Aid of WV in order to link survivors with attorneys,” Manns added. “That is why I am here today to request a small office space near the Magistrate Court. It is where I feel I can be the most effective.”
Maureen Conley, an attorney with Legal Aid of WV, also spoke to the commissioner about the important work done by Manns and Pam Gillenwater, YMCA Resolve Program Director.
“The services provided by Resolve are vital,” she said. “There continues to be a great need in Boone County and throughout the state.”
In Boone County, the group currently has one full-time and one part-time advocate who are currently housed in an office on Avenue B in Madison.
“While we have discussed the issue of locating our Boone County Resolve advocates at the Boone County Courthouse, we have never made a formal request,” Gillenwater told commissioners. “It is our understanding that there may be some office changes at the courthouse. In consideration of that, and the need to be more immediately available in emergency domestic violence matters, Resolve is requesting that the Boone County Commission provide an office in the courthouse.”
Gillenwater added that Resolve has been provided two offices in Kanawha County judicial annex and in Clay County the commission there provides one office, which Resolve pays $100 per month.
“Resolve would be pleased to enter into a similar agreement with Boone County,” Gillenwater said.
Commission President Eddie Hendricks and commissioners Mickey Brown and Atholl Halstead all commended the group for the vital services they provide in Boone County.
“Your work is needed and very much appreciated,” Hendricks said. “However, our space is very limited and we have received several requests for additional space from the judge and several other officials and groups. We will look into this matter and see what we may or may not be able to offer.”
The women thanked the commission for its consideration of their request.
In other county commission news, the Boone County Commission proclaimed the week of May 18 through May 24 as Commnity Educational Outreach Service (CEOS) week in Boone County in recognition of the outstanding community service provided by the Racine CEOS Club.
“For their significant service and contributions to the well being of family and community, let it be known that the Boone County Commission hereby proclaims May 18-24 as Commnity Educational Outreach Service Week,” Commission President Eddie Hendricks said during the Tuesday, May 6, regular session meeting.
Organized in Aug. 19, 1943, the Racine Extension Homemakers Club became the Racine CEOS Club on Oct. 7, 1998.
The 25 volunteers meetin monthly to plan and organize community outreach programs and projects related to continuing education, leadership development and community involvement for the betterment of all citizens. The primary purpose of the CEOS program is education, officials said.
“The basis for the organization’s existence is the desire of people to improve the quality of their living, to inspire families and individuals to make learning an adventure,” CEOS officials said in a press release.
CEOS officials say other purposes of the club are to strengthen and extend adult education in cooperation with the West Virginia University Extension Service.
Officers of the Racine CEOS Club are President Wanda Bottomlee; Vice President Frankie Gay; Secretary Ruth Ann Elkins; and Treasurer Toni Coon.