Local attorney steps up to fill leadership role as chair of SafeHouse
By BETH CHAPMAN / Community Columnist
Attorney Diane Paris fills a leadership role as chair of the SafeHouse Board of Directors. SafeHouse serves victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. They have received national recognition for their services. Trauma-informed, voluntary services are tailored to fit the needs of the specific clients they serve and includes individual and group counseling, education assistance, shelter, financial and career empowerment programs. While located in Shelby County, SafeHouse serves Coosa and Clay counties and the city of Hoover as well.
Paris says, “Unlike domestic violence, leadership is not about power and control. I do not think of it as the role or function of a single person, rather, I think of leadership in terms of knowing the strengths of those involved and utilizing those strengths and talents for the good of the whole.” Paris says as board chair it is important to delegate those functions to members who have the right skill set for the task.
Paris says the victims they serve benefit from learning and utilizing leadership skills just as we do.
Paris says her goal for SafeHouse is that they have a financial cushion to see them through tough economic times. They rely on grants and contributions to keep their doors open and provide the life-saving services they provide to members of the community.
She says her dream, no matter how lofty is that we will live in a world where SafeHouse is not needed because we will be a society free of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Until then, Paris and her fellow board members and the staff of SafeHouse are hosting a Jeans and Jewels Inaugural Gala on Friday, April 12th at the Wynfrey Hotel.
It will feature live music, dancing, a silent auction, dinner and more.
SafeHouse which was founded in 1989 has helped countless people find safety, gain independence and learn skills to move forward in spite of the violence they have experienced and survived. This year they have provided emergency and transitional housing to a record-high number of people. They provide their services 365 days a year free of charge.
Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a Shelby County resident. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.