North Georgia Mountain Crisis Network continues to provide much needed services in our area

Community, News, Non Profit

Blue Ridge, Ga. – The North Georgia Mountain Crisis Network (NGMCN) is not often highlighted among the nonprofit charities in our community. With the sensitive nature of the services they provide, it is a fine line that the charity must walk in order to financially continue operations and still protect the anonymity of the victims who seek their help.

Fannin County, North Georgia, North Georgia Mountain Crisis Network, Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Victims, Advocacy, Services, Awareness, Shelter, Board Member, Steven Miracle, Executive Director, Julie Welch, Fannin County Board of Commissioners, Post 1 Commissioner, Post 2 Commissioner, Chairman, Stan Helton, Earl Johnson, Glenn Patterson

NGMCN has two thrift stores, one located in Blue Ridge and one in McCaysville. Both stores help to provide financial assistance to the charity organization.

Started in 1986, the NGMCN is entering its 33 year of service.

“There are a lot of non profit organizations in our community providing care and support to residents of Fannin County,” NGMCN Board Member Steven Miracle said explaining where the charity’s services fall, “Our mission is to provide safety and support to survivors and their children of sexual abuse and domestic violence.”

Miracle went on to explain that there are four major areas in which the organization focuses:

  • Sexual Assault. Through NGMCN victims of sexual assault are provided counseling and support services to help navigate them through a very difficult time.
  • Domestic Violence. While NGMCN offers the counseling and services to victims of domestic violence as it does to victims of sexual assault, it also offers shelter to house these victims and their children.
  • Legal Advocacy. NGMCN has a trained staff that will help victims navigate the sometimes daunting legal system.
  • Education Awareness. NGMCN helps to spread the word of domestic and sexual violence through community outreach. This includes working hand in hand with law enforcement, hospitals, and different organizations that provide services to these victims.

In 2018, NGMCN housed 129 residents at their shelter. This accounted for 3,173 bed/nights (a measure of occupancy for one person assigned to one bed for one night). Residents of the shelter were also provided with well over 10,000 units of service.

“That’s actually sitting across from a survivor and their children within the shelter to be able to make phone calls, to be able to help them with any type of individual support,” NGMCN Executive Director Julie Welch explained the term “units of service”.

Outreach clients or those who did not require a shelter stay for last year totaled 158 clients and 8,700 units of service.

So far in 2019 the charity has already provided 380 bed/nights, 87 hotline calls, and 600 units of service.

Once a victim has stayed at the NGMCN shelter, the services continue even after that person has checked out. The charity works with community services in the area that the victim chooses to move to and helps provide a network of resources.

Welch said of this work, “That way we can provide a net of services so they don’t fall through the cracks.”

Over $60,000 were provided to those who reached out to NGMCN in 2018. This financial assistance is used when a client leaving a threatening situation has no source of income initially or is needed as short-term emergency funds.

Fannin County, North Georgia, North Georgia Mountain Crisis Network, Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Victims, Advocacy, Services, Awareness, Shelter, Board Member, Steven Miracle, Executive Director, Julie Welch, Fannin County Board of Commissioners, Post 1 Commissioner, Post 2 Commissioner, Chairman, Stan Helton, Earl Johnson, Glenn Patterson

NGMCN will host a 5k run or 1 mile walk on April 13, 2019 in downtown Blue Ridge.

“The fact that we are part of the budget is very much appreciated,” Miracle spoke to the Fannin County Board of Commissioners about the role the county plays, “and the support that you provide in helping us provide services to survivors and victims of our community is very, very much appreciated.”

Fannin County Post 1 Commissioner Earl Johnson shared his thoughts, “I admire what you do because quite simply, every situation you deal with is not a good situation, and you continually do it and your passion about what you do and everything that your organization does do, no one knows. I admire people who work behind the scenes. They do the things that they do. They don’t do it for any glamour or glory, they do it just for the reason you all do it because that’s what you feel like you should do.”

Welch acknowledged that it takes many volunteers, staff, and the community as a whole to provide these services: “It’s not just us. There’s a whole host of other people. It’s a team and working with law enforcement, the judicial system, hospitals…it’s completely a team and community effort.”

“I know some people that you literally saved their lives,” Fannin County Chairman Stan Helton thanked Miracle and Welch for the work they do. “Getting them out of situations that are horrendous. I’m not sure how many people in the county are aware of what a great thing you do. You do such a great thing for the community.”

There are currently 49 clients in their legal advocacy program and NGMCN is housing 14 people in their 12 bed shelter.

“Often times we will have moms that come in that will have small children,” Welch explained the high occupancy.

NGMCN serves both men and women who are victims of domestic and sexual violence. They hope by promoting education and awareness in these areas that eventually the cycle of abuse will come to an end.

 

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Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Fannin County Water Authority looks to expand services

Community, News

The Fannin County Water Authority (FCWA) discussed expansion of their utility services to include the Lake Cove development area. This topic was thoroughly evaluated by board members and consultants at the regular monthly meeting of FCWA held on Aug. 15.

Kurt McCord, Project Engineer with Carter and Sloope, Inc., ran initial fire flow testing for this project on July 27. It was determined from these tests that there is currently enough water pressure on existing lines to adequately supply water in the event of an emergency.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County Water Authority, Lake Cove, Rocky Point, Morganton, Expansion, Service Area, Chairwoman, Anita Weaver, Board Member, Angie Arp, Carter and Sloope, Kurt McCord, Project Engineer

FCWA looks to expand service areas and plans for possible future demand.

“When you look at size and lines, you look at two things,” McCord said explaining his findings and offering recommendations to the board. “You look at one, just normal domestic use, and then you look at fire flow.”

McCord explained that in an area such as Lake Cove and Rocky Point that there is not enough development to base the size of the pipes on domestic use, and that the FCWA must look to fire flow to determine the appropriate specifications to move forward.

While the expansion to the Lake Cove area could take place in the foreseeable future, McCord pointed out that now would be the time to go ahead and plan for the possibility of expansion to the Rocky Point area as well.

To be able to expand to Rocky Point, the board would need to plan on installing an 8 inch pipe, rather than the 6 inch pipe needed to just supply Lake Cove. By going ahead with larger capacity piping the FCWA would only have to pay a difference in material costs.

McCord said by being preemptive in this matter, it would cut future costs and added, “If there was more development, these lines would be able to handle that.”

Showing concern of residents following through with water hookup and services, Board Member Angie Arp questioned the limited security a signed letter of intent and inquired about recieving a upfront deposit.

After a brief discussion and careful thought, the board decided that residents wishing to have county water lines run to their area would need to sign a letter of intent and pay a $125.00 fee. This one time fee is per lot where a tap will be placed.

The fee, however, will be deducted from the overall cost to the consumer for water hookup once construction is completed.

The board agreed that there needs be at least 20 residents express interest in the Lake Cove area before the project begins. Estimates for the total number of customers this line will accommodate currently exceeds the minimum requirement of 20.

“This is the kind of project SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) was designed for,” FCWA Chairwoman Anita Weaver stated.

FCWA voted unanimously to move forward with finding the level of interest in the area for this extended line. Surveying and permitting will be the first phase of the project and could take approximately 6 months to complete.

Once surveying and permitting is done, construction can begin.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

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