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You’re Invited to Passion for Purple!

You’re Invited to Passion for Purple!

On Thursday October 18th, 2018  Ellis Family Law, PLLC is presenting “Passion for Purple” a cocktail party benefiting Compass Center in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, or DVAM.

DVAM is observed every year throughout the month of October, and is an opportunity to deepen our community’s understanding of issues, share resources and, most importantly, support survivors.

See our sponsors and get all the details on our Passion for Purple page.

Compass Center Feels like Coming Home

Compass Center Feels like Coming Home

Valerie Sauer has joined Compass Center as Director of Education Programs, a position focused on outreach and education in the community and in schools.

“Compass Center, for me, feels like coming home. I was working for a domestic violence agency in another county and it was a tremendous opportunity for growth, both personally and professionally, but I really owe so much to Compass Center. They provided me with great opportunities for growth and development, and it’s largely due to Compass Center that I chose this profession. I’m excited to be working for an organization that I believe aligns with me in terms of my organizational values.

My first volunteer position with Compass Center was in 2013.  I started as a child care volunteer and then moved to hotline advocate, community outreach intern, and then to part-time childcare specialist. It was the because of the encouragement from the staff that I got to try on different hats and see what was going to fit best with my interests. The more I learned about Compass Center’s mission, the more I got involved in the community, and the more I invested myself in the work.

Compass Center is a place of resources, healing, and hope for so many folks in our community. I’m so grateful to be back at Compass Center and explore this new role! I’m looking forward to working with people across all of Orange County, serving my hometown,  and continuing to challenge the perceptions of what domestic violence looks like in our community.”

Compass Center is a place of resources, healing, and hope for so many folks in our community. I’m so grateful to be back at Compass Center and exploring this new role! I’m looking forward to working with people across all of Orange County, serving my hometown,  and continuing to challenge the perceptions of what domestic violence looks like in our community.”

-Valerie Sauer
Director of Education Programs
Compass Center for Women and Families


CBS 17 Interviews Compass Center ED about Domestic Violence in Orange County

CBS 17 Interviews Compass Center ED about Domestic Violence in Orange County

On Thursday, August 23, CBS 17 reporter Derrick Lewis interviewed Compass Center Executive Director, Cordelia Heaney, as part of story about recent family violence incidents in Orange County.  The video is available on CBS 17’s website.  Heaney appears towards the end of the segment titled, “NC man thought gun was unloaded when he shot girlfriend, 911 call shows.”

Below is an excerpt:

“Over the summer we’re definitely seeing more clients reaching out wanting to either call us on our hotline or seek protective orders or seek other services,” said Cordelia Heaney, the executive director at Compass Center, a program for domestic violence victims.

She said 79 people were murdered in North Carolina last year in a domestic violence relationship.

In 2017, more than 1200 people reached out to the center for help, records show that’s more than double from six years ago. 


Financial Counseling Services Could be Your Ticket to an Affordable Car

Financial Counseling Services Could be Your Ticket to an Affordable Car

Thanks to a partnership between Compass Center for Women and Families and Wheels4Hope, taking part in our financial counseling services could make you eligible for an affordable car.

Compass Center provides  free, one-on-one financial counseling sessions to anyone in the community. These sessions are a chance for you to learn more about:

  • Budgeting and saving
  • Credit
  • Buying a home
  • Creating a financial plan
  • Investing

In addition to learning skills to gain financial stability, participation in these sessions can get you one step closer to buying an affordable car from Wheels4Hope.  Wheels4Hope is a nonprofit that repairs used cars and sells them at reasonable prices to people who meet eligibility requirements and work with a partner nonprofit, like Compass Center, over a period of months. A detailed explanation of how the program works is pasted below.  Please note, there is no guarantee that your time with Compass Center will result in a Wheels4Hope car. 

If you would like to learn more, call Compass Center’s main line at 919-968-4610 or email LaKiera Grimes, our Self-Sufficiency Program Director, at

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August is Self-Care Month at Compass Center!

August is Self-Care Month at Compass Center!

 Compass Center is welcoming the month of August by celebrating self-care! 

Each year, August is one of the busiest months for staff. Many student volunteers take vacation time before the start of the next school year, leaving program staff to cover those volunteer roles. The team is also hard at work preparing for our multi-day,volunteer trainings in September.

But, we here at Compass Center practice what we preach. We’re not just braving through a busy month, we’re going to celebrate it by acknowledging each small victory and practicing acts of self-care.

Compass Center’s Fun Committee is leading the charge by providing simple pick-me-ups for the staff ranging from fruit-infused water, neighborhood walks, and even a Harry Potter puzzle in a common space to offer a bit of a mental break.

In the words of author Deborah Day, “Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.”

Diva Cup Donates Menstrual Hygiene Products to Compass Center

Diva Cup Donates Menstrual Hygiene Products to Compass Center


Through Compass Center’s Information and Referral Program, people in the Triangle area can access basic needs including diapers, toiletries, and menstrual hygiene products.  Now, we can add Diva Cups to that list thanks to a donation of 30 Diva Cups free to Compass Center clients. 

The Diva Cup is a reusable, bell-shaped menstrual cup that is worn internally and sits low in the vaginal canal, collecting rather than absorbing menstrual flow. The pilot donation of 30 Diva Cups from Diva International, Inc.,  will allow some of our clients to have a more environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and perhaps a more comfortable option for their menstrual care.  

Menstrual hygiene products aren’t cheap. The total cost of menstrual hygiene products for the average person over their lifetime is about $2,116, according to the Huffington Post. With the  Diva Cup donation to Compass Center for Women and Families, people in the community can significantly lower that number by saving $100-200 a year.  

“Thank you to Diva Cup for selecting Compass Center for this pilot program,” said Cordelia Heaney, Executive Director of Compass Center. “This donation helps expand our ability to distribute more menstrual products to those in need. We also value the fact that this is a different option that is environmentally friendly and that clients can use for up to a year.”  

Heaney said that providing free necessities is often the first point of contact with clients who eventually go on to receive the organization’s additional services. 

“In many cases, providing basic needs helps us connect to our clients and introduce them to long-term services that can transform their lives,” said Heaney. “By having more menstrual hygiene products on hand, we can expand our reach and further our mission to help people on a path to safety, self-sufficiency, and health. All donations help!”

A Listening Ear for Someone in Crisis

“A Listening Ear for Someone in Crisis”

Why I Volunteer

Reade’s story

“I started volunteering at Compass Center out of a desire to do more for those impacted by domestic violence. It means a lot to me to be able to provide a safe space and a listening ear for someone in crisis. Having someone available to validate your feelings can be just what is needed. I enjoy the engagement and overcoming the discomfort and uneasiness in order to fully meet someone who needs support.”

—Reade, Hotline Advocate, almost 2.5 years

“New Grant Helps Orange County Domestic Violence Survivors with Housing”

On July 25, 2018, Spectrum News aired a story about Compass Center’s new housing and therapeutic services. To view the story click on this link to the Spectrum News Central Carolina site.

Why Volunteering at Compass Center Might be Right for You

Why Volunteering at Compass Center Might be Right for You

We have approximately 200 volunteers a year . Most of our volunteers work directly with clients. For this reason, we  provide extensive training so that volunteers are adequately prepared to provide services to people in need.

Our volunteer trainings are only twice a year for specific positions, so if you’re interested, now is the time to start applying.  Compass Center’s Director of Client Services and Volunteer Management, Ashley Parks, answers some frequently asked questions about our volunteer program.


What do volunteers at Compass Center do?

We have a variety of different volunteer positions. Everything from working on the crisis line to career coaching and tabling at events. It depends on what volunteers are interested in doing and how much time they can devote volunteering. We have one volunteer who posts flyers for us once a month. That’s all she has time for, but it’s a huge help.

Here are some of the volunteer positions we are looking for:

  • Domestic Violence Hotline Advocates are needed to assist survivors of domestic and interpersonal violence by responding to calls on our 24-hour hotline. 
  • Information and Referral Volunteers are needed to welcome our clients, assess their needs and goals, and connect them to Compass Center services and community resources accordingly. 
  • Domestic Violence Court Advocates needed to provide emotional support, information about the court system, community referrals, and connect clients with other victim service providers. 
  • Career Program Volunteers needed to work one-on-one with clients with varying needs for career guidance and support, such as career/vocational exploration, resume writing, cover letters, job search strategies, interviewing, and goal-setting. Volunteers commit to six months with a minimum of four appointments per month.

Please visit to see all of our opportunities. There are many ways to get involved and most of the time we take any skills you have!

How can I become a volunteer?

Initially, people email me or fill out our application online and then I send them position descriptions and ensure that it’s a good fit for their availability. From there, I connect them to a staff member in charge of that role and that person will do an in-person conversation or screening. Then in the fall, we hold our volunteer training. There are two days of training, which is comprised of a general training for all volunteers and then a more specific training for a volunteer’s specific role.  

Who can be a volunteer?

Because of the time constraints and the sensitive or serious nature of some of the work, we generally ask that people are 18 years or older and that they’re ready to make  a long-term volunteering commitment.

Is it paid?

Volunteer roles are not paid. Every once in a while we have some internships that have a small stipend that goes with them, such as Court Advocacy and Community Response internship, but generally they are not paid positions.

Can someone get school credit?

We receive many students from APPLES Service-Learning, which is a student-led program at UNC Chapel Hill that connects academic learning with public service, and Masters of Social Work students who get school credit. Those are situations we’re used to dealing with, but it would just be a matter of having a conversation with that school about what their expectations are for us and the student.

Are there volunteer positions that aren’t client-facing?

Yes. We have volunteers who help with development, communications, community awareness, and finance. Some of these volunteers are students, and some are community members including professional graphic designers and photographers who donate their services.

What can someone expect from volunteering?

A volunteer can expect to get quality training and have attentive staff support throughout their time here. It’s a very rewarding experience for a lot of people and volunteers grow a lot and meet new people. As a staff, we are all really responsive, consistent and really value our volunteers!

Drag Queen Bingo Saturday at 8 p.m.

Drag Queen Bingo Saturday at 8 p.m.

Join us at 8 p.m. (note the time change from 8:30) on Saturday, July 21 for a night of bingo hosted by Drag Queen Vivica C. Coxx at Linda’s Bar and Grill! Linda’s is located at 203 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514.

Compass Center will receive funds from the purchase of bingo cards and Red Oak Pints ($5) and Compass Center Cosmos ($7). There will be prizes, including the grand prize: a $50 Linda’s gift card! All round winners will be eligible to win the grand prize.

The night consists of 10 rounds of bingo and a break at halftime for people to order drinks. Please bring cash for bingo cards and your generous donations to Compass Center! Bingo cards can be purchased in sets of 3 for $5, 10 for $15, and 15 for $20.

Arrive early as the show begins promptly at 8.

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