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Compass Center to Provide Housing and Mental Health Services to Survivors of Domestic Violence

Compass Center to Provide Housing and Mental Health Services to Survivors of Domestic Violence



Compass Center to Provide Housing and Mental Health Services to Survivors of Domestic Violence in Orange County  

Chapel Hill, NC– Compass Center for Women and Families will expand its services to include housing and mental health support thanks to a 2-year grant from the Governor’s Crime Commission and additional support from Cardinal Innovations Healthcare’s Community Reinvestment Initiative. The Chapel Hill-based nonprofit will provide vitally needed transitional housing assistance and therapeutic services to victims of domestic violence and their children in Orange County. 

Compass Center is the state-designated domestic violence service provider for Orange County.  In that role, Compass Center offers a 24-hour hotline, court advocacy services, support groups, emergency housing placement, and more to victims of domestic violence. The county does not have a domestic violence shelter or transitional housing for survivors of abuse.  As a result, victims get displaced to shelters in other counties, creating a significant negative impact on work, schooling, and support.  Thanks to the a $350,000 Governor’s Crime Commission grant, made possible in part by a cash match of $15,914 from the Cardinal Innovations grant, Compass Center will be able to directly pay for clients’ housing needs including rent and utility payments for up to 120 days, beginning early next year.

Affordable therapy is a gap for trauma survivors looking for symptom relief and healing.  With this grant, Compass Center’s hotline and in-person domestic violence advocates will assess clients’ needs for therapeutic services and connect them to contract therapists in the community.  Compass Center will provide at least 54 victims of domestic violence and/or their children with therapy services in the next two years.

“Housing and mental health services are critical to helping victims of domestic violence and their families live safe, stable, and healthy lives,” said Cordelia Heaney, Executive Director of Compass Center. “By adding these services we enhance our existing model of providing crisis care and long-term support to help survivors of domestic abuse move forward. These clients can take advantage of our financial counseling, career coaching, and family law information services as well, giving them the best chance a secure future.”


Compass Center for Women and Families

Compass Center for Women and Families helps 6,000 people a year navigate their journeys to self-sufficiency, safety, and health. The nonprofit empowers individuals and promotes equal access to opportunity regardless of gender or economic status. Compass Center services include career and financial education, domestic violence crisis and prevention programs, assistance with legal resources, and youth health programs. For more information, visit


Drag Queen Bingo is Back!

Back by popular demand, Compass Center will host another Drag Queen Bingo! On Saturday, July  21, friend of Compass Center,  Vivica C. Coxx, will once more entertain the crowd while raising funds for Compass Center’s services. Come ready to play!

Spring Pittsboro Antique Fair

Spring Pittsboro Antique Fair

The Spring Pittsboro Antique sale is coming up, and this year, proceeds will benefit Compass Center! During the weekend of May 18-20, visit the Alpha Center to shop for vintage and antique home decorations, furniture, jewelry, art, pottery, books & collectibles. There will also be face painting, food trucks and much more! Admission is $5 and children under 16 are free. Free parking is available. For more information, visit 

Empowering Journeys Video

Empowering Journeys Video

April 18, 2018

The Compass Center’s Empowering Journeys video features client testimonials about our domestic violence, self-sufficiency, and adolescent health programs. It premiered at our Empowering Journeys luncheon and illustrates how Compass Center supports clients as they navigate challenging times.


Compass Center’s Annual Fall Appeal Campaign is Underway

Compass Center’s Annual Fall Appeal Campaign is Underway

“I Got The Job!”  – – Hearing those four words is the best thank you we can get at Compass Center. When we see a client who walks in to the Henderson Street House hopeless and desperate and then within weeks their entire world turns around, it makes all the hard work worthwhile.

It also makes it worthwhile to ask our partners to continue their invaluable support by giving during our annual Fall Appeal . Please read our September newsletter to learn exactly how we helped this mom get that job and thrive after surviving domestic violence.

If you truly want to help make a significant difference in your community, this is a great opportunity to do so. You have the ability to help us share more stories like this one. Thank you and DONATE  today.



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Compass Center Offering Free Income Tax Assistance through VITA

Compass Center Offering Free Income Tax Assistance through VITA

Compass Center for Women and Families is once again offering free income tax assistance through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

On Mondays from February 8 through April 11, our 2016 VITA services will be offered at the Chapel Hill Public Library, 100 Library Drive.

Click here for eligibility and appointment information, or call our office at 919-968-4610 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please do not call the Library.

You may also make an appointment online by clicking here.

Compass Center is the only VITA site in Orange County that can prepare tax returns for foreign students and scholars. Appointments must be made by calling Compass Center at 919-968-4610.

Your appointment: Please arrive 20 minutes before your appointment time and allow an additional two hours for tax preparation and review. Click here for what to bring to your appointment.

The VITA program Is staffed by IRS-trained and certified volunteers to help low- to moderate-income individuals and families avoid preparation fees and maximize their tax credits. VITA tax assistance for federal and NC state income tax is free tax preparation for those who meet eligibility guidelines.  VITA services do not include bankruptcy, foreclosure or rental income. Limited services are available for self-employment income.

Free VITA tax assistance is also available at other sites in Orange County. Call 919-245-4242 (English) or 919-245-2010 (Spanish) for appointments. Search for VITA locations in other counties.


What to bring to your VITA appointment

What to bring to your VITA appointment:

Bring all the documents listed below, as applicable to your tax situation:

  1. Photo ID, Social Security Cards & birthdates, or ITIN Letter for everyone named on return
  2. Copies of 2014 federal and state tax returns
  3. All documents regarding income received in 2015: W-2 forms, social security income, pension, unemployment, retirement income, other work forms showing earnings, listing of all cash income
  4. If you are self-employed and eligible, bring receipts for expenses and statements of income.
  5. Interest and dividend statements from banks and investments (Forms 1099)
  6. Home sold in 2015: All records of home sales, including closing statements for original purchase and sale of your home
  7. Stock sales in 2015: All records of stock sales and the date and price of original purchase
  8. Dollar totals by category for medical expenses (doctor, dentist, hospital, prescriptions, parking and miles driven to doctor/dentist)
  9. Itemization of charitable donations (cash and non-cash)
  10. List of volunteer mileage
  11. Amounts paid for day care or afterschool care and provider’s identifying tax number
  12. Education Credits: 1098T statement along with receipts for books, computer & Internet charges. Bring statement from your college about expenses.
  13. Receipts for mortgage interest, personal property tax, real estate tax, vehicle tax
  14. Form(s) 1095 Affordable Health Care Insurance Statement from the Marketplace and if you have dependent(s), bring ALL their income information.
  15. Both spouses must be present to sign joint returns
  16. Bank routing & account numbers such as on a check for direct deposit of eligible refund
  17. Phone number where you can be reached day and night; email address, if available
  18. Any and all information you receive from the IRS

Thank You to Our 2014 Summer Interns!

Elise Berrier is a rising senior at UNC-Chapel Hill double majoring in Psychology and Women’s & Gender Studies with a minor in Creative Writing. This summer, Elise served as the Domestic Violence Community Education Intern. She is working on rewriting a media literacy program for middle school students and updating the Start Strong curriculum.​ Elise has volunteered with Compass Center since the fall of 2013 as a Start Strong facilitator.  She was given this initial opportunity through an APPLES internship placement in Bob Pleasants’ Women’s Studies class: Leadership in Violence Prevention for Peer Educators. Elise was drawn to Compass Center through their involvement in the community as a resource for individuals experiencing domestic violence, as well as a resource for empowering and educating adolescents on how to actively prevent and address domestic violence.

Caline Hou received her undergraduate degree in Political Science and Psychology from UNC in December 2012.  Caline started at UNC Law in August 2013 and just finished up her first year. During undergrad, Caline became interested in family law, and specifically, domestic violence law.  She started volunteering as a domestic violence hotline advocate for the Family Violence Prevention Center and realized that many clients she spoke to were in dire need of legal assistance, but were unable to obtain lawyers for financial reasons.  When FVPC merged with the Women’s Center to become Compass Center, Caline learned more about the different legal services that Compass Center offered and became interested in providing legal assistance to clients. This summer, Caline assisted Sally with coordinating Legal Information Services appointments, and meeting with clients who have Community Legal Project appointments.

Abigail Howard graduated from Duke in 2011 and has since worked at various nonprofits in the area. She currently teaches yoga in Durham and is a graduate student at NC State, pursuing a Masters in Counseling. Abigail joined us this summer as the information and referral intern, assisting clients, and updating our referral information.

Bridget McEnaney received her undergraduate degree in journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2009 and is currently enrolled in graduate programs in substance abuse counseling and trauma counseling at ECU. Bridget began volunteering as an advocate with Compass Center in 2013 and is particularly interested in the intersection of interpersonal violence/trauma and substance abuse/mental health. Bridget also recently joined the staff at a domestic violence shelter in a neighboring county providing emotional and logistical support for residents who have recently fled abusive relationships. This summer, Bridget worked on updating the Compass Center advocate training materials on substance abuse and sexual violence, as well as creating a new comprehensive resource manual that will be accessible through the Compass Center website.

Abigail Owens is a rising senior at UNC, majoring in Sociology and double minoring in Social and Economic Justice and Public Policy. Prior to obtaining an Associates in Art degree and transferring to UNC, Abigail attended Davidson County Community College, while working as the office assistant at WBFJ-FM, a nonprofit Christian radio station. Abigail also served as the Student Government Association President and a Board of Trustees member. Abigail has always loved helping others in any way that she can, whether it be by raising awareness, fundraising, doing advocacy work, providing a helping hand, or simply by being present and willing to listen. She was drawn to Compass Center because of her own personal experience with domestic violence and the desire to help provide others of similar circumstances with the support and resources that they need in their time of crisis.

Natalie Scott is a rising sophomore at UNC-Chapel Hill and is considering business or communications as a major. During the 2013-2014 school year, Natalie worked at the UNC School of Medicine HR Office,  consolidating, pulling, and filing records. She also worked at the front desk answering calls and helping whoever walked in. Natalie assisted clients with their needs over the phone and as the walk into the center by providing information about Compass Center programs or referring clients to other organizations. Natalie also be entered data such as evaluations and client information into an online system.

Morgan Zaccardo is a junior undergraduate at UNC-Chapel Hill studying Global Studies (International Politics and an area focus in Latin America) and Journalism. Morgan is currently involved in UNC’s APPLES Service Learning program. She was originally drawn to women’s rights when she learned more about human trafficking and became very passionate about the issue. As an intern, Morgan works as an assistant to our Director of Court Advocacy. Morgan attends court with Kati and serves as an assistant to  advocate and support clients, as well as do outreach work for clients that may not know about Compass Center’s services. Morgan also does crisis counseling in the office and on the hotline.

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