New director makes herself at home at SafeHouse

Shelby County’s SafeHouse has a new director, Kathy Wells, who brings with her more than 30 years of expertise in the field of domestic violence.

Wells’ background is rich in non-profit management including work in Colorado, Montgomery and North Alabama. She qualifies her work by saying, “This is not a job to me, it is the work of my heart.”

Wells openly discusses her own survival from domestic violence, and has used it in a positive way to greatly impact the lives of others. The old saying is, “Quality not quantity,” but Kathy Wells’ resume has plenty of both. Many of her accomplishments show that she has a strong work ethic and a creative mind: founding member of the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence and HOPE Place Inc. Additionally, there are the 10 or more awards she has received including the prestigious U.S. Department of Justice Recognition for Outstanding Dedication and Service to Crime Victims and the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Service to Families.

If there is such a thing as a perfect match, I would think Wells will make one for SafeHouse. It is a non-profit organization located in Shelby County, which serves victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in neighboring Coosa and Clay counties as well. SafeHouse was founded in 1989 with its primary focus being to provide safety and to empower victims to move toward a life free of violence. Who better to do that than someone who already has survived it?

Though Shelby County has consistently been considered the safest place to raise a family in Alabama, SafeHouse provided services to 19,862 people in Shelby County alone last year. They provided shelter to 64 women and children and more than 3,300 hours of crisis intervention to victims of domestic and sexual abuse. They also presented rape and violence prevention and education programs to 6,915 of Shelby County’s middle and high school students.

For more information on SafeHouse, visit www.safehouse.org or call 669-5531.