SAFE Homes-Rape Crisis Coalition was established in July 1994 by the successful merger of Spartanburg County SAFE Homes and the Council on Sexual Assault (COSA). Both organizations were established and chartered by grassroots volunteers. COSA, established in 1984 and chartered in 1985, provided services to child and adult sexual assault victims. SAFE Homes-Rape Crisis Coalition is a private, non-profit organization providing a multi-faceted assistance program to victims of domestic violence in Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Union Counties, and victims of sexual assault in Spartanburg and Cherokee Counties. The agency is effective in providing comprehensive services that include: victim advocacy, emergency shelter, legal advocacy, education/prevention programs, support groups and therapy for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault/abuse.
One of the most promising practices for communities is for all those working with family violence and sexual assault to come together in a multi-disciplinary response that prioritizes victim safety and offender accountability, and makes the search for help less burdensome for victims by bringing service providers together under one roof. This approach has been successfully implemented in other areas, and has dramatically decreased violence in the community. In June 2005, SAFE Homes – Rape Crisis Coalition opened the first such center in South Carolina, “Mary’s House”, with the help of community law enforcement, prosecution, child protective services, and mental health agencies.
In 2009, we were able to fulfill another one of our dreams. The shelter we had long inhabitated was over 100 years old, and was neither child friendly nor easily handicapped accessible. We found a one-story building with a better location and more modern facilities and immediately began a capital campaign. In October 2009, due to the generosity of our many funders and community partners, we were able to move into our newly renovated shelter with increased bed space.
An Executive Director, supervised by a 20-member Board of Directors, heads this agency. Our Director supervises our staff of 21 full-time and 14 part-time employees, who are assisted by 523 volunteers. The Board of Directors is very active in the organization. It is their responsibility to approve budgets, raise funds, and oversee the fiscal management of the organization. We receive funding from federal and state grants, the United Way, grants from Spartanburg City and County, and local contributions.