Safe Alliance has named Kathy Bolster Gauger as its director of residential services, responsible for managing operations and the strategic direction of the new Clyde and Ethel Domestic Violence Shelter.
“I have a passion for helping women and children in various ways and this was another way for me to do that, specifically on the domestic violence side of things,” Gauger said.
The previous Shelter for Battered Women that served Mecklenburg County for more than 30 years had only 29 beds and families were restricted to stays of 30 days due to space limitations.
Since Safe Alliance opened its new 80-bed domestic violence shelter for women and children in January it has been at or near capacity. The shelter holds 103 women and children.
Gauger said even with the shelter past capacity, they continue to receive calls from women in need.
“The increased length of stay that is now available to the women since moving into the new building will not only allow them to attend to their safety issues,” Gauger said, "(but it also) allows them to work towards a long-term goal of maintaining that safety and living independent of their abusers.”
Gauger said she would really like to focus on the employment of the women Safe Alliance, while continuing to address the trauma.
Many of the women come to Safe Alliance not working because they have been under the control of their abusers.
Her goal is to help woman become independent by assisting them in getting basic documentation, clothing and skills needed for the workforce.
“Kathy has an established track record of positively impacting women’s issues including domestic violence, homelessness, adoption, parenting and substance abuse,” said Safe Alliance President & CEO Phil Kline. “She has excellent clinical and case management skills and is a respected client advocate.”
Women that are seeking help to get out of an abusive household can call Safe Alliance's hotline at 704-322-2513.