Montgomery County Task Force on Domestic Violence was formed.
Federal grant application denied.
First Memorandum of Understanding solidifying partner agency commitment to ONE PLACE signed.
One Place Family Justice Center receives 501 (c)(3) status.
October 29, 2010
Miss Teen Alabama and Bridge Builders create children's playroom Clubhouse.
Building housing ONE PLACE was renamed Brooks Sellers One Place Family Justice Center after its founders.
ONE PLACE is awarded a grant by the Law Enforcement Traffic Safety Division of The Alabama Department of Economic & Community Affairs and the U.S. Department of Justice to expand services.
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.
“Today’s been a long day coming but we opened our doors thanks to the great help of our many community partners. ONE PLACE is crucial to the health and safety of our citizens in the River Region. Domestic violence is a cycle of abuse. All of us pay the price for domestic violence in our community.” – Ellen Brooks, Supernumerary District Attorney, Montgomery County/Co-Founder
On the morning of October 29, 2010 ONE PLACE Family Justice Center opened its doors to serve victims of domestic violence throughout the River Region. In the crowd victims of domestic violence, waited for the doors to open.
Within the first year ONE PLACE served over 800 victims of domestic intimate partner violence.
Building on Community, Experience and Collaboration
Agencies in the River Region were acutely aware of the gap and had long envisioned reaching out to more victims through an offering of combined professional services.
“We knew our community needed this – one place where you can tell your story, meet trained people who know the resources in the community, and will help transition you to these resources.” – Karen Sellers, Executive Director (Retired), Family Sunshine Center/Co-Founder
In 1994, the Montgomery County Domestic Violence Task Force was created including the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, Montgomery County Commission, Montgomery Police Department, Family Sunshine Center, Legal Services Alabama, Thomas Goode Jones School of Law, and Standing Together Against Rape (S.T.A.R.). The Task Force was the collaboration that began the creation of ONE PLACE Family Justice Center in Montgomery.
“We found the perfect model in San Diego in their Family Justice Center, a model where victims could get all the services in one place; safe, secure, to give victims the assistance they desperately need.” – Ellen Brooks, Supernumerary District Attorney, Montgomery County/Co-Founder
The Montgomery County Commission applied as the lead agency for a federal grant to procure funds to open ONE PLACE in 2004. The application for funding was denied, but the commitment never wavered.
In 2009, these agencies joined together with several others to create a Memorandum of Understanding in developing ONE PLACE Family Justice Center. These agencies would eventually become ONE PLACE partners when it was incorporated and granted 501(c)(3) status in 2009 covering most of the River Region.
The building housing ONE PLACE was purchased in December 2009 with the financial support of the City of Montgomery and the Montgomery County Commission.
Renovations were made to the building through the generosity and support of local civic groups and private donors. Interiors were renovated to create a safe and comfortable environment for the victim. In the heart of the building is a living room where victims are welcomed. The building also contains a children’s play area, a conference room, offices and a training room. A shower and private bathroom were added adjacent to the sexual assault examination room for Standing Together Against Rape (S.T.A.R.) clients. The bathroom offers privacy for sexual assault victims, allowing them to shower after a sexual assault exam and to dress in new clothing provided by the program. The S.T.A.R. program provides onsite sexual assault forensic nurses and victim advocates for the clients.
ONE PLACE houses full-time onsite partners, including: Family Justice Unit of the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, staff attorneys from Legal Services Alabama, law students from the Family Violence Clinic of Faulkner University Thomas Goode Jones Law School, case managers from the Family Sunshine Center, detectives from the Domestic Violence Unit of the Montgomery Police Department, and a Magistrate from the City of Montgomery Municipal Court.
Other groups partner to provide services off-site or on an on-call basis at ONE PLACE, including the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Montgomery County Department of Human Resources, Child Protect Children’s Advocacy Center, the Montgomery Area Council on Aging, the Family Advocacy Program of Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Alabama, Family Guidance Center of Alabama, Helping Montgomery Families Initiative, Victims of Crime and Leniency, Montgomery Area Mental Health Authority, the Montgomery County Task Force on Domestic Violence, Easter Seals and The WellHouse.
Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence happens in every socioeconomic group in society, causes suffering for the victims and their families, and impacts the community. Domestic homicides cost communities an estimated one million dollars per homicide and the cycle of domestic violence perpetuates itself not only within relationships but generation to generation.
The ONE PLACE model has been identified as a best practice in the field of domestic violence intervention and prevention services. Documented and published outcomes include: reduced homicides, increased survivor safety, autonomy, and empowerment; and reduced fear and anxiety for survivors and their children.
“ONE PLACE is life-saving!” – Karen Sellers, Executive Director (Retired), Family Sunshine Center/Co-Founder
In 2014, the ONE PLACE Family Justice Center building located at 530 S. Lawrence Street, Montgomery, Alabama was named after its co-founders Ellen Brooks and Karen Sellers.
ONE PLACE – serving victims of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual violence, human trafficking, and child and elder abuse.
Ellen Brooks, Karen Sellers, Co-Founders and Steve Searcy, One Place's first Executive Director (left to right)
In 2014, the One Place Family Justice Center building, located at 530 S. Lawrence Street, Montgomery, Alabama was re-named the Brooks-Sellers One Place Family Justice Center after its co-founders, Ellen Brooks, Supernumerary, District Attorney and Karen Sellers, Executive Director (Retired), Family Sunshine Center.