New Family Advocacy Center Open To Serve All Crime Victims In Tempe

 Tempe is making a new investment in the health and well-being of the community with the opening of a Family Advocacy Center that serves all victims of crime at one centralized, confidential location.

Tempe’s center, opened in partnership with Arizona State University, fulfills a promise to provide comprehensive victim services and advocacy to the entire community. Students, residents and visitors of all ages now have access to resources that address both immediate and long-term needs in an accessible, safe and healing environment.

“Family Advocacy Centers are the gold standard for serving victims of crime and we are so proud to open the doors to anyone who needs our help,” said Mayor Corey Woods. “In partnership with ASU, we have carefully designed this center to be a welcoming place where survivors and their families can feel comfortable and cared for as they work with advocates to access city and community resources.”

Anyone who needs help can get started by calling the city’s CARE & HOPE Line at 480-350-8004.

Community investment

Tempe’s Family Justice Commission first began advocating for a Family Advocacy Center in 2017, with a vision to bring the best practices and services to victims. The Tempe City Council approved the center in 2021 and has invested nearly $800,000 in city General Fund dollars and federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to lease and upgrade the 11,600-square-foot space.

The city expects to invest nearly $300,000 each year in operating costs and is leveraging federal grant funds to support staffing. ASU is contributing $45,000 annually to offset costs as part of a five-year agreement.

“This shared investment, a novel and promising approach, extends the reach of our on-campus services and affords choice for how and where members of our community receive support and care,” said Joanne Vogel, vice president of Student Services at ASU. “We look forward to receiving feedback about how these resources, in addition to our current offerings, continue to meet the individualized needs of victims of crime.”

The Family Advocacy Center is a warm and welcoming place, with a comfortable living room and teen room, a cozy quiet room, children’s play areas, yoga and art space, a kitchen stocked with drinks and snacks and laundry room. Cheerful artwork hangs throughout the center and the city’s comfort canine Sully, a sweet Labrador, offers his calming presence. See the space in this new video.

Individualized services

Services are tailored to the needs of victims and their families, including:

  • Crisis intervention
  • Orders of Protection and safety planning
  • Access to city resources such as counseling or shelter
  • Connections to community resources
  • Trauma healing programs such as yoga, art and music therapy

The center is designed to welcome victims in a secure lobby and connect them with victim advocates from the city’s CARE 7 team as well as ASU.

Victims can receive services with or without police involvement. The center has an entirely separate space for Tempe and ASU police and a private room for police interviews if needed. Advocacy is offered throughout the criminal justice process.

Tempe will continue to expand services at the advocacy center, with designated space for medical exams and clinical counseling. In partnership with Tempe Municipal Court, the center will offer virtual court so victims can easily address needs such as obtaining an Order of Protection.

The city’s collaboration with ASU is vital, helping ensure that all students are aware of this safe space and able to access resources confidentially, said Tim Burch, Tempe’s director of Community Health and Human Services.

Burch also praised partnerships with donors whose contributions brought the former office space to life.

“The community has truly embraced the Family Advocacy Center,” Burch said. “We are grateful to Tempe Leadership for providing all of the furniture to make the center feel like a home and Kids in Focus for the beautiful artwork throughout this space.”

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