Investing in Safety, Hope, Healing, Justice, and Prevention for Victims of Sexual and Domestic Violence.
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At Denton County Friends of the Family (DCFOF) we are dedicated to providing compassionate, comprehensive services to those impacted by rape, sexual abuse, and domestic violence, while partnering with our community to promote safety, hope, healing, justice, and prevention.
Our Guiding Philosophies:
Denton County Friends of the Family, Inc. was incorporated on September 17, 1980. The first shelter was a tiny house of about 900 square feet, only able to house up to eight women and one child. There were two employees (an executive director and a counselor) assisted by 32 volunteers. Primary funding, which amounted to $10,000 came from a contract with the City of Denton and additional funding came from private donations. Limited children's services were provided to shelter clients, and the crisis line began, staffed completely by volunteers.
In 1982 the Agency became a Denton County United Way agency and earned grants from the Texas Department of Human Resources for the family violence program and from the Texas Department of Health for the sexual assault program. In April of 1982, the Agency moved all of its operations into its present shelter which stands at 4,400 square feet.
This move allowed the agency to serve 271 clients in 1983. In 1985 the shelter was enlarged to create a playroom, and in 1986 the porch was enclosed to create two new offices. In 1985 the first outreach facility was opened in a one-room office in Denton and in 1988 the Denton outreach facility was moved into a six-room office.
The batterer's program, originally called Violence Intervention & Prevention was initiated in 1988 with the hope that counseling batterers would stop the cycle of relationship violence, it is now referred to as BIPP, Battering Intervention & Prevention. In December of 1988 the doors to the Family Thrift Shop were opened to provide needed items to clients and raise needed revenue.
In early 1989 the Agency began outreach programs in Parenting, Homemaker, and Children's Services, and the rape crisis program was professionalized. However, by midyear of 1989, the Agency faced a budget crisis brought on by the rapid expansion and the failure of multiple grant requests. In the fall of 1989 the Denton outreach facility moved to space donated by Denton Regional Medical Center. Struggling for survival, raises were curtailed, duties were consolidated through attrition, and Wise County services were provided out of Denton facilities. At the end of 1989 the budget was cut from $481,056 to $391,696.
In 1990 the budget assured funding for the Family Violence outreach counseling program and support for the Batterer's program. A HUD block grant and donations from the Hoblitzelle Foundation allowed for shelter renovations. The Denton outreach facility was moved to 1400 Crescent Street and by 1992 shelter renovations were completed, offering beds for up to 28 adults and children and six infants.
The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program began July 29, 2002 after just over two years of collaborative efforts of Friends of the Family, Children Advocacy Center, Texas Attorney General's office, Denton Regional and Trinity Medical Centers, Denton County law enforcement, and Denton County District Attorney. The SANE program was developed and implemented as a team approach to collect appropriate forensic evidence and provide the standard of care for the sexual assault patient.
As of 2019, we have over 70 staff employees and over 600 volunteers yearly. We have a 4,400 sq. ft. shelter, a 13,000 sq. ft. Outreach Office, two satellite offices, with a third opening in June of 2019 and as of 2017, the thrift store rebranded to Upscale Resale and moved to its current location on Dallas Drive. In 2018 DCFOF established our transitional housing program, providing support and housing stability to domestic violence and sexual assault victims. The 2018 budget of $4.7 million--all dedicated to helping the growing demand of services in the county.
DCFOF is the sole provider in Denton County of shelter and free outreach services to those who have been affected by relationship violence and/or sexual assault. DCFOF receives funding from federal, state, and local government agencies, the United Way of Denton County, corporations, foundations, groups and individuals. The agency looks forward to carefully designed expansion of existing programs and new initiatives to increase awareness of DCFOF services and to help end the generational cycle of violence.