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Coronavirus/COVID-19 Update from Compass Center/ ACTUALIZACIÓN DE CORONAVIRUS / COVID-19

In light of ongoing community-wide concerns regarding the Coronavirus/COVID-19, Compass Center for Women and Families has developed plans to ensure continued access to critical services for our community as well as safeguarding the safety and health of clients, volunteers and staff. We wanted to take this opportunity to share information with you about our current plans.

Starting Monday, March 16, Compass Center’s Chapel Hill office will be closed to outside visitors as we encourage staff to work remotely. Many of our services will still be available, but we will be implementing the following changes:

  • Our business line (919-968-4610) will be in operation Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm weekdays as usual, and community members can call us for help accessing information about our services as well as other area resources
  • Staff will continue assisting clients to file for domestic violence protective orders, but will do so over the phone whenever possible
  • Our Diaper Bank services are postponed for the time being, but any changes to this policy will be shared on social media
  • Staff and volunteers will suspend providing in-person court advocacy services
  • In-person support groups and self-sufficiency workshops have been postponed
  • Compass Center’s 24-hour domestic violence  hotline (919-929-7122) will remain in operation, and we will continue to help clients coordinate service needs as usual
  • Community education events in the community are suspended
  • Career, financial and legal information workshops have been suspended. Individual career, financial and legal information services will remain available by phone; please contact our office for more information

If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us, and be sure to visit our social media pages for updates.

We recognize that this is a major health crisis and that it also impacts our community economically and personally. While policies are being put in place to address community safety, we recognize that for survivors of domestic violence the isolation that social distancing policies require may exacerbate situations of abuse. In addition, we are concerned about those in our community who are most vulnerable to economic changes resulting from the Coronavirus and want to be a support to efforts to ensure everyone’s safety, security, and health. We encourage all community members to reach out for support during these difficult times.


A la luz de las continuas preocupaciones que ha presentado la comunidad con respecto al Coronavirus / COVID-19, el Centro Compass para Mujeres y Familias ha desarrollado planes para garantizar el acceso continuo a los servicios críticos para nuestra comunidad, así como salvaguardar la seguridad y la salud de los clientes, voluntarios y personal. Queríamos aprovechar esta oportunidad para compartir información con usted sobre nuestros planes actuales.

Empezando el lunes 16 de marzo, la oficina del Compass Center en Chapel Hill estarán cerradas a las visitas en tanto hemos incentivado a nuestro staff a trabajar remotamente debido al brote del Coronavirus. Muchos de nuestros servicios seguirán estando disponibles, pero implementaremos los siguientes cambios:

  • Nuestra línea telefónica (919-968-4610) operará con normalidad de Lunes a Viernes de 9 am a 5 pm, los miembros de la comunidad pueden llamarnos para acceder a información sobre nuestros servicios así como otras fuentes de apoyo disponibles.
  • El personal continuará ayudando a los clientes a solicitar órdenes de protección contra violencia doméstica, pero lo hará por teléfono siempre que sea posible.
  • Nuestros servicios de Banco de Pañales se pospone temporalmente, pero cualquier cambio a esta política se compartirá en nuestras redes sociales.
  • El personal y los voluntarios suspenderán la prestación de servicios de defensa judicial en persona.
  • Grupos de apoyo en persona y talleres de autosuficiencia han sido pospuestos
  • La línea directa de violencia doméstica de 24 horas de Compass Center (919-929-7122) permanecerá en funcionamiento y continuaremos ayudando a los clientes a coordinar sus necesidades de este servicio como de costumbre.
  • Se suspenden los eventos de educación comunitaria en la comunidad.
  • Se han suspendido los talleres de información profesional, financiera y legal. Los servicios individuales de información profesional, financiera y legal permanecerán disponibles por teléfono; por favor contacte nuestra oficina para más información.

Si tiene preguntas o inquietudes, no dude en comunicarse con nosotros y asegúrese de visitar nuestra página web y redes sociales para obtener actualizaciones.

Reconocemos que esta es una gran crisis de salud y que también afecta a nuestra comunidad de forma económica y personal. Si bien se están implementando políticas para abordar la seguridad de la comunidad, reconocemos que para los sobrevivientes de violencia doméstica, el aislamiento que requieren las políticas de distanciamiento social puede exacerbar las situaciones de abuso. Además, estamos preocupados por aquellos en nuestra comunidad que son más vulnerables a los cambios económicos resultantes del Coronavirus y quieremos ser un apoyo a los esfuerzos para garantizar la seguridad y la salud de todos. Alentamos a todos los miembros de la comunidad a buscar ayuda durante estos tiempos difíciles.


UNC Research Links Domestic Violence and Housing Needs

UNC Research Links Domestic Violence and Housing Needs 

CHAPEL HILL, NC – July 2019: Compass Center is excited to announce a major step forward in its efforts toward securing housing for victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) and their families. UNC School of Social Work recently released the Orange County North Carolina, Domestic Violence, & Housing: A Collaborative Community-Provider and Researcher Needs Assessment. Data derived from this four-year community needs assessment reveals a critical need for housing services for IPV victims and their families. Given that 1 in 4 women in North Carolina experience IPV, this assessment was designed to help ensure that IPV victims receive comprehensive services and support. Such services include financial assistance to further support survivors at risk of becoming homeless. 

The assessment, a collaborative effort with UNC and Compass Center for Women and Families, Orange County Rape Crisis Center and UNC Hospital’s Beacon Child and Family Program, mainly analyzed housing needs in Orange County for IPV survivors and their families. Homelessness and partner violence often occur hand-in-hand; however, Orange County currently does not have a dedicated domestic violence shelter.

“What we know is that housing needs exacerbate the other needs and problems that IPV victims struggle with such as child care, employment, health, and safety,” said UNC School of Social Work researcher Prof. Rebecca Macy, who worked with UNC School of Social Work Assistant Professor Cindy Fraga Rizo to conduct the community needs assessment. 

Addressing the safety and housing needs of IPV victims and their families is a complex challenge without any single, straightforward solution. Many variables, including a lack of affordable housing; insufficient employment opportunities; limited public transportation; and a general sense that domestic violence and homelessness are not significant problems in Orange County worsen the situation. Additionally, there’s little to no evidence proving that existing homeless shelters are effective in helping survivors transition quickly from a violent relationship into safer homes.

To help devise a solution, the UNC research team interviewed nearly 200 individuals who have been impacted by domestic violence or have worked with survivors, including court judges, prosecutors, faith leaders, teachers, department of social service workers, mental health professionals, business leaders, and IPV survivors themselves. 

After analyzing the report’s findings, Compass Center designed an implementation strategy, identifying a three-pronged approach to address housing and other needs of IPV victims in Orange County:

  • Flexible funding to help survivors with expenses related to independent housing, such as car repairs, a plane ticket to start over with family in another state, or to purchase a new uniform for a job
  • Rapid re-housing services to help individuals with rental assistance and access to supportive or affordable housing programs
  • Crisis housing, in the form of apartments, to quickly meet the needs of a survivor in search of a safe and fully furnished place to stay until more permanent plans are made

A grant from the North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission enabled Compass Center to begin to put this approach into action and provide much needed rapid re-housing services. On January 15th, 2019, Compass Center launched its ‘Housing Micro-Grant Program.’ Through this program, survivors of domestic abuse receive funds to support rent, utilities, deposit assistance, and moving expenses for up to 120 days. As of April, Compass Center is currently housing 14 families, including 17 dependents. The other 16 families in the program are in the process of securing housing. 

As for the future, Compass Center is engaged in a feasibility study with local consulting firm Moss + Ross to determine the long-term sustainability of potentially expanding the housing program beyond the grant cycle to the three-pronged approach.  

To learn more about this assessment or our Housing Micro-Grant Program, please email

Free Financial Workshop Series on Homeownership

Get a better understanding of the financials of the home buying process. During this 3-part workshop series, facilitators will explore the lending process, saving for home, and provide resources to make the dream of owning a home a reality.

Registration is required by February 1st. There are a limited number of slots available, so early registration is highly encouraged.


Schedule Your Meeting with a Law Student Today!

Compass Center partners with UNC School of Law to provide two, 30-minute meetings with a law student. The student will listen to your concerns and then conduct legal research to compose a legal memo* with relevant information regarding Family Law or Landlord-Tenant Law. This memo is reviewed and edited by a licensed attorney.

To make an appointment, call Compass Center at 919-968-4610 now through mid-November.


*Legal memos help clarify the legal issues that may pertain to your situation and help inform your decision whether or not to pursue legal action.

Attend the Financial Health Workshop!

Join Compass Center and Wells Fargo for an educational event walking you through the eight rules of thumb for financial health! This workshop will take place on Tuesday, November 6 from 6-7:30pm at the Chapel Hill Public Library in meeting room C. Call Compass Center at 919-968-4610 to register to attend.

North Carolina First Lady and Orange County Mayors Unite in Support of Domestic Violence Services

North Carolina First Lady and Orange County Mayors Unite in Support of Domestic Violence Services




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 16, 2018


North Carolina First Lady Kristin Cooper an Orange County Mayors Unite in Support of Domestic Violence Services

Appear in Video to Support Compass Center in The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse® Challenge

Chapel Hill, NC– The First Lady of North Carolina Kristin Cooper, Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger, Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle, Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens and community leaders Sheriff Charles Blackwell and Mark Kleinschmidt are showing their support for Compass Center for Women and Families, the state-designated domestic violence agency for Orange County, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Throughout October, Compass Center is competing to win money for domestic violence services as part of The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse® Challenge. In a video shared through social media, the leaders explain how Compass Center helps survivors of abuse on their journeys to safety, self-sufficiency, and health.

Compass Center is one of nearly 300 domestic violence organizations across the country participating in the 2018 Allstate Foundation Purple Purse® Challenge, which runs Oct. 2-31. Now in its fifth year, the annual friendly fundraiser, which coincides with National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, helps state and local domestic violence organizations deal with funding gaps.  

Compass Center helps more than 1,200 survivors of domestic violence in Orange County every year through support services including a 24-hour hotline, court advocacy, support groups, emergency housing placement, and more. The depth and breadth of Compass Center’s services help survivors of abuse with immediate and practical needs such as filing domestic violence protective orders and emergency food supplies as well as assistance for the long-term, including career coaching and financial counseling.  Recently, Compass Center was awarded funding to expand its services in 2019 to include temporary housing and therapy for survivors their children.

“This is Compass Center’s first time competing in the Purple Purse Challenge and we are so grateful for the support we’ve received from community leaders,” said Compass Center Executive Director Cordelia Heaney. “By lending their voices and to this campaign, they are raising awareness about the life-saving services available to victims of abuse while also calling attention to need for additional funding to support these vital programs.”

As part of the national campaign, tennis champion, philanthropist and Allstate Foundation Purple Purse program ambassador, Serena Williams, designed a limited-edition purse – a suede and leather purple backpack. The backpack, which some of community leaders hold in the Compass Center video, will be auctioned off at  “Passion for Purple,” a Cocktail benefit presented by Ellis Family Law on Oct. 18, from 6:00 p.m.-8 p.m. at the North Carolina Botanical Gardens.

For more information about the Purple Purse Challenge and the Passion for Purple Cocktail Benefit, visit  For Compass Center’s 24-hour domestic violence hotline, call 919-929-7122.



Meet Michelle! Our New Career Service Intern!

Meet Michelle, our new Career Service Intern!  

Michelle is a career counseling student at North Carolina Central University who is interning at Compass Center to help clients reach their career goals. 

Michelle is available to provide clients with individual career counseling sessions which can be tailored to a client’s needs. Sessions could include mock interviews, resume editing, and networking tips. Additionally, Michelle will be running the Access to Career Development Support Groups for survivors of domestic abuse to focus on their career goals and future career planning. 

Michelle’s services will allow more clients to receive individualized career counseling and maximize their chances of meeting their career objectives.   

 “Through completing my internship here, I hope to help clients become more confident in their career goals and resolving conflicts around occupational fit,” says Michelle. “Finding a career that incorporates your values and interests is critical to overall life satisfaction so I enjoy being a part of that process.”

Domestic Violence Awareness Month Calendar

Compass Center’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month Calendar

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month! Join Compass Center and our community partners to bring awareness to domestic violence and community resources. 

Attend the Purple Purse Kick-Off Party!

Join us for this fundraiser at Blue Dogwood Public Market in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month! Five percent of sales benefit Compass Center as they compete to win money for domestic violence services as part of the Allstate Purple Purse Challenge. All vendors are participating.

Oct 4. 11 am – 9 pm


306 W. Franklin St.

Chapel Hill, NC, 27516

Letting People Know Help Is Out There- Why I Give

“Letting People Know Help Is Out There”

Why I Give

Lourdes and the team at Gracie Chapel Hill Jiu-Jitsu

I believe Compass Center is important because it helps people find a way to change their lives. Women and families are often in situations where change on their own without assistance is difficult or even impossible. I wanted to raise money for Compass Center and, more importantly, raise awareness in the community that Compass Center can help people get out of an abusive relationship.

I think the work they do on the crisis hotline is so important. Sometimes people in abusive situations feel uncomfortable telling friends and family what is going on, so the ability to speak to someone anonymously and for them to have that compassion and listen to their story is so meaningful. It gives people strength because they finally have someone saying “you’re not crazy” when someone in their life might be telling them that “you are crazy,” or that “no one’s going to believe you.”


One of the things that Compass Center does is supply food and basic needs to survivors of domestic violence and their children who have to leave an abusive situation with nothing but the clothes on their backs. I wanted to do something to help.  I thought, every dollar that can be raised for Compass Center could be for diapers, someone’s food, or a safety phone for someone who needs to call the police or seek shelter.  So, I approached my friends at Chapel Hill Gracie Jiu-Jitsu about hosting a fundraiser.  They said “yes” right away.  We decided to host a roll-a-thon or “sparring” event and raised money on a crowd funding website. It was a huge success!  We had so much support from the jiu-jitsu community across the East Coast.  It was a real community effort.  Together we raised more than $4,000 for Compass Center!


I can’t tell you how many people came up to me and were so glad I suggested this event because they know someone who has been in a bad situation. Everyone had a story. My primary focus for the donation was to create awareness. I wanted people to know that if they needed help, there was somebody out there. I’m really excited that we raised a lot of money, but even if we reached just one person that found Compass Center and found their voice to get out of their situation, that is the win.


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