Center For Women Serving Fairfield Changes Name, Gets $1.2 Million Grant

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Executive Director Deb Greenwood of the newly renamed Center for Family Justice speaks about how the change to a one-stop location for victims will help in the fight against domestic violence.
Executive Director Deb Greenwood of the newly renamed Center for Family Justice speaks about how the change to a one-stop location for victims will help in the fight against domestic violence. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith
Center for Family Justice board members Andrea Goodman, Joe Marrone and Judy Stevens pose with Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara, a longtime supporter of The Center.
Center for Family Justice board members Andrea Goodman, Joe Marrone and Judy Stevens pose with Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara, a longtime supporter of The Center. Photo Credit: Contributed
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Jim Himes support Center Board Member Judy Stevens and Executive Director Deb Greenwood at The Center For Family Justice.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Jim Himes support Center Board Member Judy Stevens and Executive Director Deb Greenwood at The Center For Family Justice. Photo Credit: Contributed

FAIRIFELD, Conn. – The Center For Women and Families, which serves Fairfield and Easton, officially changed its name Tuesday to the Center for Family Justice and announced it had received a $1.2 million grant for building renovations.

The center, which has long served eastern Fairfield County as an advocacy group and by offering safe houses and support for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence, will transform over the next 18 months into a one-stop location for victims.

“Basically it relates to the most important needs of our clients,” Board Chairman Andrea Goodman said. Services from police, prosecutors, civil and legal providers and advocates will all be housed in one building so victims can more easily navigate the system and find the help they need, she added.

The Bridgeport center is using the Family Justice Center, which started in 2002 in San Diego, as a model.

“There is a great need for this type of program,” said Deb Greenwood, executive director of the center. The planning began in 2009, when board member Judy Stevens suggested the transition to the “all-in-one” approach.

By bringing all the services together, including a computer lab and job training, clients will have greater opportunities. The model reduces homicides, increases community support services, cuts fear and anxiety for victims, increases prosecutions and cuts costs to the victims, center officials said.

“There is no price tag to it when you fully embrace what The Center is all about,” said state Rep. Tony Hwang, R-Fairfield.

“This is a problem that doesn’t necessarily stop at municipal boundaries,” said U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District. 

The streamlined facility is good for law enforcement, Easton Police Chief James Candee, because one officer is able to act as a liaison. He said he is excited about the new model, especially after the department has changed how it deals with domestic violence calls. “I can’t wait to see how it works,” he said.

Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara praised the center's transformation in working with community leaders to change the culture of domestic violence.

“There is a lot of hard work going on,” MacNamara said. 

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This article is very confusing. This center "serves Fairfield and Easton." But it's located in Bridgeport. And, the Fairfield and Easton chiefs of police are all for it. Where did the grant $ come from?

The Five Ws of j-school: Who, what, when, where and why.

Where did this $1.2 million grant for "building renovations" come from? Federal government? (broke and in astronomical debt) State? (close to bankruptcy). Another blabber and jargon machine run by underemployed dilettantes who should try their hand at housework, where they might make a REAL difference; and not require any more "grants". Is Chief MacNamara still encouraging his police force to walk around in women's high heels, to demonstrate something or other? The laughter has barely died down from that silliness.

Get a job.

Nice to see Rep. Himes was able to jet back from his pay-to-play ski party with lobbyists.