• 40 Stories for 40 Years: Connie Nash

    by Emily Roberts | Jun 05, 2018

    Connie Nash came to The Family Place in 2000 after her husband of 25 years attempted to kill her. Had it not been for her 16-year-old son Daniel jumping on his father's back, her husband would have shot her in the head. Her husband went to jail, and Connie and her son found The Family Place and began their journey to recovery.

    When Connie began counseling, her self-esteem was extremely low. During her marriage, her husband isolated her from the outside world. She didn’t know how to buy groceries or manage money. The only time she was allowed to leave home was to go to church on Wednesdays and Sundays and an occasional visit to her mother-in-law’s house.

    Within a year of counseling at the Family Place, Connie learned to like herself again and remembered what self-worth was. Not only did she learn to manage money, but also she landed a job with one of the top five accounting firms in the world: KPMG.

    Connie joined Toastmasters, which taught her how to have confidence and speak with power.  She realized sharing her story could help other domestic violence survivors. She began speaking as a client advocate for The Family Place on radio, television and in public forums. She advanced in Toastmasters and become Area Governor, President of two clubs and earned a Distinguished Toastmasters Award for giving over 50 speeches, which only 10% of all Toastmasters worldwide achieve. She served on The Family Place Board of Directors for over six years and assisted in fundraising by holding fundraiser for the our Southern Sector office that raised over a thousand dollars.

    Connie later started her own gift basket business and remarried. Her son is now married and has a young son. Connie is now writing a book to share her story!

    “I am back to being the person I knew and loved,” Connie says. “I still speak at functions, mainly churches, to raise awareness of spiritual abuse and help make a change in people’s lives. I’m happy and fulfilling my purpose in life—sharing my story and make a difference in the lives of others.”

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Sonya Burkins

    by Emily Roberts | May 31, 2018

    Sonya Burkins learned about The Family Place after her ex-husband attempted to take her life. Although it was an isolated event, her son was left traumatized. Sonya was apprehensive about counseling, but she knew her son needed to heal so they both began counseling sessions.

    Sonya says the conversations she had in counseling opened her eyes and broadened her view of abuse.

    “Abuse comes in many forms, shapes and sizes,” Sonya explains. “Many believe that the only form of abuse is physical, but that’s not accurate. In many cases, abuse slowly grows until it explodes. When a seed is planted and watered, it will grow overt time. Many individuals will overlook the planting seasons of things like financial abuse, emotional abuse, spiritual abuse and verbal abuse. The truth is these are considered to be ‘red flags’. Unfortunately, in many cases those are the starting points to physical abuse.”

    Now, Sonya has picked up the pieces and moved forward with her life. She has degrees in both business and psychology and serves with The Family Place on the leadership team in the Southern Sector outreach office.  Sonya has coined the name “Starlight” for herself because she uses her experience to shed light on domestic violence and raise awareness on abuse.

    “I am more than my story. I am a living testimony that with the help of The Family Place and the Lord, I have beaten the odds,” Sonya says. “It’s important to continue to share and help shed light on the different forms of abuse and help those who think they do not have the ability to remove themselves from an abusive situation believe that they do. They need to know that they can become a Starlight, too!”

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Debra Mitchell-Ibe

    by Emily Roberts | May 24, 2018

    “I have had a career that most people would have to move around to several agencies to have,” says Debra Mitchell-Ibe, who has been at The Family Place for more than 30 years.

    Debra started at our emergency shelter as a counselor, and then became Hotline Manager, Assistant Shelter Director and Shelter Director before becoming Program Manager for our Outreach Counseling Program. There she was a part of the creation of our Latino Program and our expansion into the Metrocrest after a domestic violence death in the area.

    “We originally developed our community-based counseling program because statistics showed that African American victims were utilizing our shelter but not counseling services,” she says, “so we also started a counseling program in South Dallas.”

    The START family violence education program—now called the Be Project—also began during Debra’s time as Program Director when a staff person saw a need to reach high school kids. Currently she is Senior Director of Training and Education and is passing on her extensive knowledge to our entire staff.

    “I loved all the positions I have been fortunate to have,” she says. “My favorite part has been the educational aspect of working with families, staff and the community to educate, empower and end domestic violence. I think I had the most fun assisting in the creation of events to reach families impacted by domestic violence.”

    “I have had the great fortune to have wonderful staff and mentors. I carry the stories of victims who have shared their experiences and educated me about how to help,” she says.

    One of the most memorable clients was a woman who came to the shelter badly beaten on Christmas Day.

    “It was heartbreaking to think at a time when we celebrate peace on earth that we do not have peace in our homes,” Debra says.

    Another unforgettable client was during her time supervising our children’s program. A four-year-old boy came into counseling after he had been expelled from school for a second time. Using “coloring book” therapy, he began to tell his story. Debra always asked children what they learned in school. Children of this age would often say things like the ABCs and how to count, and Debra would add that they also learned how to line up and walk in line to lunch, the library etc. At this little boy’s school, the walk to the cafeteria went by the front exit of the school. During therapy, he told Debra that he ran out the door because he needed to find his mother.

    “At four he knew that going out the door would cause a chain reaction that included his mother being called and summoned to the school. Then he would be sent home with her to think about his behavior. What no one in the system asked was why did he have a need to find his mother,” Debra says.

    Through the pictures drawn, Debra learned that the boy’s father would strangle his mother until she passed out, making him think she was dead. Being away from her at school caused extreme anxiety. He wanted to make sure his mother was still alive, but he couldn’t verbalize it. No one at school was looking further than calling his mother and sending him home with her, she says.

    The hardest counseling session Debra remembers involved a 12-year-old boy who was brought to counseling by his grandmother. His father had killed his mother in front of him and his sister and had shot him.

    “It was so hard to listen to the pain of the grandmother receiving a call at work that her only child and two of her three grandchildren had been shot,” Debra says. “The children were taken to one hospital and her daughter to another. She had to make the hard decision to go to the hospital with her grandchildren while her daughter died before she could make it to see her.”

    “I have so many success stories I could tell,” Debra says, “but these difficult ones are the ones that remind me why I do what I do—because adults and children should not have to suffer in this way!”

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Kimberly Johnson

    by Emily Roberts | May 16, 2018

    Kimberly Johnson thought her abusive boyfriend would change when they got married, but as soon as she said “I do” the abuse became even worse. She watched her sons become angry with her husband and knew she had to leave before the abuse started affecting them.

    One night she saw a commercial for The Family Place, and she wrote down the hotline number and called the next day. Our hotline counselor explained that if she came to the shelter, she would have to cut all ties with her husband, something she was not sure if she could do after trying and failing in the past.

    Two days later Kimberly called back and we had an opening at the shelter, so she prepared to leave. When her husband left for work the next day, she and her children left for the shelter. Although leaving was difficult, when she saw the look of relief on her sons’ faces, she knew she had made the right decision. With The Family Place’s help, Kimberly got an apartment and never returned to her abuser.

    “Through the counseling and other services provided at The Family Place, I learned that I am worthy of love without violence of any kind, and that I am enough,” Kimberly says.

    This year, many years after coming to The Family Place as a client, Kimberly returned as an intern. She will receive a bachelor’s degree in Human Service in December of 2018.

    “I came to The Family Place to give back what was so freely given to me,” she says. “I am extremely grateful for the services rendered to me because I would not have made it if this agency wasn’t here.”

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Faith and Liberty Battaglia

    by Emily Roberts | May 08, 2018

    Faith and Liberty Battaglia were nine and six years old in May 2001 when their father, John Battaglia, murdered them as their mother listened on the phone. For this ultimate act of family violence, Battaglia was executed on February 1, 2018.

    At the time of the murders, he was on probation for hitting his ex-wife, the girls’ mother, and she had been trying to have him arrested for violating probation. The tragedy was a catalyst for an amendment to the Texas Family Code, effective September 1, 2001, which required judges to presume that ordering supervised visitation in cases where there is evidence of family violence or child abuse is in the best interest of the child.

    Following the legislation, The Family Place worked with other advocates and Dallas County to get a Safe Havens grant and established the Faith and Liberty’s Place supervised visitation and monitored exchange program in 2003. We have received subsequent grants from The Crystal Charity Ball and Dallas County to sustain the program. Referrals to Faith and Liberty’s Place come directly from Dallas County Family Courts. In 2017 the program provided 4,169 service hours to 380 adults and 302 children.

    “The families who come to Faith and Liberty’s Place are struggling with the trauma of both family violence and divorce,” says The Family Place CEO Paige Flink. “On this 17th anniversary of their death, we’re proud to remember Faith and Liberty by continuing to provide a uniquely safe environment where services are provided by highly trained staff to prevent abuse and save lives.”
  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Gail Griswold

    by Emily Roberts | Apr 26, 2018

    Gail Griswold was just two years out of Northeastern University, where she earned her master’s degree in counseling psychology, when she joined The Family Place as our first executive director from October 1978 through April 1988. Services started with a shelter and hotline, but, from the start, she says, The Family Place worked to create a system of services including pioneering outreach counseling, aftercare support and housing, a men’s counseling program and community education.

    “We were inventing it all as we went along,” says Griswold. “Services for battered women were just beginning all across the U.S. No one knew what would be effective, because no one had done this.”

    The Family Place also began screening for physical and psychological abuse of witnessing children, a radical idea at the time, and obtained some of the final funding from the Office on Domestic Violence shortly before the Reagan administration closed it.

    “I remember visiting the building in Washington, D.C. and seeing desks stacked in the halls as offices were vacated,” Griswold says. “The two remaining federal staff members were determined to send the last of the funds to shelters.”

    “It was an exciting time. We felt we were creating something so important,” Griswold says. “I was lucky to be young and inexperienced, so we didn¹t know that we couldn¹t do things. We just did them, even in the face of overwhelming obstacles.”

    Now, Griswold says she is thrilled to see what the organization has become.

    “It is so much more than we dared to dream when we opened that first shelter!” she says.

  • The Week of the Young Child

    by Emily Roberts | Apr 24, 2018

    This post was written by our Program Director of Children's Educational Services, Bergen Bartram.

    Last week our Child Development Center celebrated the Week of the Young Child! Each year, the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC) designates a week to honor early learning and the families at our shelter were able to be a part of the celebration.

    The theme for this special celebration was “You are my Sunshine,” reminding the children at our shelter who have been exposed to such trauma that they bring sunshine and light into many lives. Each day during the Week of the Young Child we celebrated in a different way.

    Monday’s celebration was dedicated to music. The children enjoyed a dance party in a room filled with instruments, ribbons, disco lights, and more allowing the kids to have fun and be active.

    Tuesday was "Taco Tuesday" – a day dedicated to taste! The generous cooking staff at our Emergency Shelter created a menu full of fun flavors while also promoting healthy eating habits and fitness.

    Wednesday was “Work together Wednesday.”  Children used our large Rigamajig to construct the fort of their dreams! Their creative skills were reinforced while exploring math and science concepts. 


    On Thursday the kids focused on art by using their handprints to create a large sun. The mural reminds the children that by working together they can make something beautiful. And, the final product is a wonderful addition to our lobby!


    Friday was “Family Friday.” Our Behavior Intervention Specialist, Gennie, offered a free parent training to support parents who have questions about their child’s development and behavior. Immediately following the training the Child Development Center hosted a “Picnic on the Playground”  for mothers, children and teachers to eat together while enjoying the spring weather.

    Engaging and celebrating families is at the heart of supporting our young learners. We had a sunshiney week with our beloved parents, children and teachers!
  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Aaliyah Miranda

    by Emily Roberts | Apr 18, 2018

    Aaliyah Miranda was born in Mexico and came to Dallas when she was 16. She married right after high school and stayed in the abusive relationship for eight years before reaching out for help. In 2000, she came to The Family Place’s emergency shelter with no money or job skills. She and her two sons stayed at the shelter for 30 days and then applied for our transitional housing program where they stayed for three months.

    A year later, her ex-husband sued for custody of one of her boys, which was granted. This forced her to give her son back to her abuser. Aaliyah was destroyed by this, but she sought counseling and support from The Family Place’s South Dallas Counseling Center, which helped her acquire the necessary tools to get back on her feet. She decided to go back to school and fight for her children.

    After taking ESL classes, she enrolled in college classes. Working and studying at the same time brought a lot of sleepless nights, but she was determined to accomplish her goal. Aaliyah earned an associate’s degree from Mountain View College, but that was only the start. She graduated cum laude from the University of Texas in Arlington with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and went on to obtained a master’s of Education with dual language emphasis. She has continued graduate studies at Southern Methodist University and is currently pursuing a doctorate from Texas A&M University-Commerce. She plans to complete her dissertation in August 2018.

    Years after losing custody of her son, Aaliyah reunited with him, and both of her boys are currently in college. She remarried five years ago and has worked in education for 13 years, currently as an assistant principal in Grand Prairie. Aaliyah is a member of The Family Place’s Board of Directors and Ladies of Leadership, a group of survivors turned advocates. She is also the president of a Toastmaster International Club where she shares her story.

    “Thanks to the support I received from the Family Place, I found the courage to be where I am today. I used to be shy, had low self-esteem, and didn’t believe in myself,” Aaliyah says. “The Family Place showed me there are people who care about you without even knowing you, and I will be forever grateful.”

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Virginia Whitehill

    by Emily Roberts | Apr 10, 2018

    Virginia Whitehill, an early supporter of The Family Place, was born into the women’s movement. Her mother, Myrtle Bates Bulkley marched for women’s suffrage and raised her daughter to be a strong voice for change. We honored Ginny in 2006 as a Texas Trailblazer for her tireless advocacy for women.

    Ginny was instrumental in getting funding for our work. After facing some push back from fellow Junior League of Dallas members when she lobbied for funds, Ginny employed her trademark wit and wisdom.

    “I said it wasn’t about women’s rights, it was about fighting crime, and, gosh, maybe it would be good to be safe from crime in your own home,” Ginny said.

    Initial funding from the Junior League of Dallas and the National Council of Jewish Women enabled The Family Place to hire our first executive director and legitimized us with other funders. Junior League of Dallas volunteers have been essential to our work ever since.

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Caroline Richards

    by Emily Roberts | Mar 30, 2018

    Caroline hadn’t been married long before her husband began abusing her. One day after church, she was holding her 11-month-old granddaughter when she and her husband got into an argument. He began to choke her until she passed out, and she and the baby both fell to the floor. She crawled to her nearby bedroom. And, with weak and shaking hands, called 911. The police came and arrested her husband.

    Caroline got a restraining order against her husband, and a counselor at her church told her about The Family Place. During her marriage she suffered physical, sexual and financial abuse, but counseling at The Family Place helped her see that change was possible.

     “I was so ashamed and embarrassed to tell anyone, but I broke that silence and took my voice and my life back,” she says. “The Family Place showed me how to be victorious and bold.”

    Caroline divorced her husband and now has a job, is attending school and is in the process of purchasing a home. She is in the leadership program at The Family Place and is a member of Toastmasters. Caroline says the resources at The Family Place empowered, motivated and equipped her to take a stand against domestic violence.

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Erika Kiser

    by Emily Roberts | Mar 14, 2018

    Erika Kiser was a victim of domestic violence and didn’t even know it. Her husband was addicted to heroin and had just lost his job when they got into an argument that led to a physical altercation. When she called the police, they arrested her.

    “When I came to The Family Place I was broken and felt like I was beyond repair,” Erika says. “I honestly don’t remember how I got The Family Place … I’m just glad I did.”

    Erika attended both group and one-on-one counseling sessions. In group she learned that she wasn’t alone. Other women were going through the same things. Although she fought her one-on-one counselor on almost every task she was given, she says it was exactly what she needed. Her two children also received counseling at The Family Place. They didn’t see the physical violence, but Erika says they were just as emotionally abused as she was, and counseling helped them understand what was happening.

    Her husband later died, and, even though he had abused her, his death affected her greatly. She considered committing suicide but knew her children needed her.

    Today, Erika is the campus registrar at Alex W. Spence Middle School and TAG Academy. She has also been a client board member representing The Family Place with Legal Aid of Northwest Texas for almost three years. 

    “It’s hard to imagine where my kids and I would be if it hadn’t been for The Family Place. The Family Place saved my life and my sanity.” Erika says. “I’m truly thankful to God for The Family Place, and I love every single minute of my life now."

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: United Way of Metropolitan Dallas

    by Emily Roberts | Mar 07, 2018

    Since 1981, the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas has been a critical funder of programs at The Family Place.

    “Family violence prevention is a key strategy to achieve United Way’s 2020 Community Goal of improving health throughout the region,” said Jennifer Sampson, McDermott-Templeton President and CEO of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “Our investments in programs at The Family Place are effectively working to break the cycles of abuse in North Texas.”

    When United Way celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2014, the first of its “Nine for 90” service projects was at The Family Place Safe Campus. Dallas Cowboys Legend Darren Woodson joined volunteers from Texas Instruments and Alliance Data to paint, replace shutters and transform the playground at the campus for the women and children living there.

    Jennifer Sampson

    “The Family Place has become a national model in eliminating family violence,” Sampson said. “Its extraordinary leader Paige Flink is at the heart of it all. A passionate, vocal advocate for ending family violence, Paige has always had my deepest admiration. We share a commitment to ensuring that all North Texans have a safe and secure place to call home.”

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Hope Woodson

    by Emily Roberts | Feb 28, 2018

    After Hope Woodson left her abusive marriage her son’s behavior changed drastically. His grades started slipping, and his behavior worsened at home and school. He had outbursts where he became extremely sad and then lashed out in anger. Hope called the Family Place after seeing a news story where our counselors assisted a young man having similar issues, and she and her children started coming to one-on-one and group counseling sessions.

    “We learned how to express ourselves without anger and how to channel feelings of sadness and uncertainty.  Most importantly, we learned that there was a light at the end of the tunnel, and that we weren’t alone,” Hope says. “It wasn’t easy at first, but sharing my truth with women that had gone through similar experiences gave me confidence, strength and encouragement.”

    Today, Hope’s son is an 8th grader who is excelling in school and plays three sports. Hope is a member of The Family Place’s Ladies of Leadership, a group of survivors-turned-advocates that volunteer and share their experiences at various community events. She is also serving on The Family Place Partners Auxiliary Board for 2018.

    “I couldn’t be more excited and proud of this opportunity to serve an organization that has positively impacted and transformed my life,” she says.

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Lamisa Mustafa

    by Emily Roberts | Feb 21, 2018

    Lamisa Mustafa got involved with The Family Place's Be Project last year during her senior year at Newman Smith High School in Carrollton. The Be Project’s Nikki Head sat in on a Human Rights Forum meeting, where she met Lamisa, who then helped set up a Be Project violence awareness prevention presentation at Newman Smith. Founded in 1999, Be Project reaches out to youth in area elementary, middle and high schools, and on college campuses teaching them about healthy relationships to prevent bullying, teen dating violence and sexual assault. The program is called the Be Project to encourage students to Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Courageous and Be More. The connection qualified Lamisa to apply for The Family Place’s 2017 Verizon Scholarship, which she won! She’s now using the $1,500 to help fund her studies at Southern Methodist University (SMU) where she is a first-year student double majoring in Human Rights and Sociology.

    “The Family Place Be Project equipped me to stand up for victims of assault, violence, harassment and abuse and also empowered me to fight for myself,” Lamisa says. “I’m glad that organizations like The Family Place exist to remind survivors that they are never alone. It is on all of us to dismantle oppressive and discriminatory policies, practices, systems and cultures.”

    Lamisa is also the Community Outreach Intern for the SMU Embrey Human Rights Program. In this role, she works on the annual Human Rights Youth Summit, high school recruitment, education and outreach, storytelling initiatives, and student mobilization to create connections between SMU, Dallas and beyond.

    “I love my job, as I get to work with fellow champions of human rights to provide an inclusive community for students passionate about community outreach, activism and social change. It's like coming full circle, because I get to help plan the events and share the stories that convinced me to do this challenging yet rewarding work of changing hearts and minds in the first place.”

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years: Eliza Solender

    by Emily Roberts | Feb 09, 2018

    Eliza Solender, president of Solender/Hall, Inc., has been a part of The Family Place’s progress since the earliest days. Recruited to serve on the board by our founder and first board president, Gerry Beer, Eliza became our third board president following Margaret Estes, and served from 1985 to 1987. During Eliza's leadership, her goal was to broaden our funding base, which soon included funding from the City of Dallas, an increase in our United Way allocation, and creation of an endowment fund with $650,000 from The Crystal Charity Ball.

    Eliza Solender
    “Looking back at myself as a young and inexperienced board president, I am so grateful for the support I received from the board members,” Eliza says. “Many were much more experienced nonprofit directors. The board and Gail Griswold, the first executive director, were open to new ideas and very entrepreneurial. An amazing number of new funding initiatives were accomplished during that period.”

    Eliza’s experiences at The Family Place and on other nonprofit boards became the basis for her idea to form Solender/Hall, Inc. in 1991 as a commercial real estate brokerage company specializing in nonprofit organizations.

    “The Family Place was one of my first clients and continues to be today including representing the organization on the acquisition of the site for the new Ann Moody Place facility,” she says. “I am indebted to The Family Place for giving me the opportunity to continue to serve the organization and am so proud of all that has been accomplished over the past 40 years."

  • 40 Stories for 40 Years

    by Emily Roberts | Jan 31, 2018
    2018 marks the 40th anniversary of The Family Place. All year long we will be sharing stories of family violence survivors, community supporters and the women and men who have helped save lives and make The Family Place the national leader it is today. Join us as we commemorate our 40th birthday all year long!

    About The Family Place
    In 1978, a group of community volunteers organized The Family Place as one of the first family violence shelters and service organizations in the state with a mission to eliminate family violence through intervention and proactive prevention, extensive community education, advocacy and assistance for victims and their families. Today The Family Place is the largest family violence service provider in North Texas, serving 10,049 clients with 130,996 hours of service last year alone. Over the past 40 years, we have counseled more than 215,000 clients, provided lifesaving shelter to more than 24,000 women, children and men, and answered more than 600,000 calls for help. We have helped more than 18,800 batterers learn how to change their abusive behavior and reach approximately 6,000 students each year through our youth education programs. All of our programs are provided in Spanish and in English.

  • Celebrating the Opening of Ann Moody Place

    by Emily Roberts | Jun 28, 2017

    The Family Place hosted an Open House for its new facility, Ann Moody Place on Sunday, June 4, 2017 for board members, donors, community leaders and others involved in The Family Place.

    Among the 200 guests in attendance were current and past board members of The Family Place, donors to the Legacy Capital Campaign, board members of Partners Auxiliary, members of Young Partners Auxiliary, members of the SakeKeepers Giving Society, Mayor Mike Rawlings, local city council representatives, District Attorney Faith Johnson, administrators from local hospitals including Parkland Memorial Hospital, Children’s Medical Center of Dallas and Baylor University Medical Center, financers of the facility, local artists whose work is on display in the building, in-kind donors, project partners and The Family Place staff.

    Attendees sat in the Paige Flink Healing Garden and the Make It Count Children’s Playground while speakers made remarks from the second floor balcony. Lynn McBee, President of The Family Place Foundation Board, welcomed all attendees to the program and thanked the top donors to the facility. Mayor Mike Rawlings took to the podium to say a few words about the importance of the facility. Frances Moody-Dahlberg spoke and thanked The Family Place for allowing the Moody Foundation to be part of their amazing work in the community. Paige Flink, CEO of The Family Place, thanked all the in-kind donors to the facility, and shared about a recent encounter with a survivor of domestic violence. Hilary Own, Director of Restoration Ministries at Highland Park United Methodist Church, blessed the new facility.

    Paige Flink returned for a special ceremony. With the help of children on the balcony, Flink released 16 monarch butterflies to honor the 16 women from Dallas and Collin Counties who lost their lives due to domestic violence in 2015. After the memorial, Eric White, President of The Family Place Board of Directors, concluded the program and invited all guests to tour the new facility.

    The Family Place Board of Directors acted as docents for areas of interest during self-guided tours. Highlights included 47 emergency shelter beds, expanded space for the Dignity at Work job readiness program, Be Project offices for bullying and teen dating violence prevention, medical and dental clinics, and animal kennels for victims who don’t want to leave pets behind when fleeing an abusive situation.

    Designed by leading architecture and design firm Corgan, the facility is also home to administrative and program offices. A capital campaign began with a $5 million lead gift from the Moody Foundation and concluded with a $1 million match grant from Highland Capital Management, for a total raised of over $16,898,000.

    Ann Moody Place is located in Dallas, TX. Access to The Family Place shelters and other resources is available by calling the 24-Hour Hotline (214) 941-1991.

    Guests gathered in the Paige Flink Healing Garden for remarks

    Board Members Mary McNulty, Julie Hoad and Radhika Zaveri

    Mike and Sammye Myers, Mayor Mike Rawlings

    Paige Flink, Frances Moody-Dahlberg, Lynn McBee

  • Family Violence Doesn't Take a Holiday

    by Emily Roberts | Dec 22, 2016


    Melissa Sherrill

    (214) 443-7710


    Family Violence Doesn’t Take a Holiday:

    Domestic Violence Resources Save Lives During Stressful Season

    DALLAS – The holiday season is stressful for all of us, but particularly so for victims of domestic violence. The holidays can add one more layer of pressure to already volatile relationships. It’s important for victims to know that The Family Place, Dallas’ largest domestic violence agency, is here for them providing comprehensive resources and safety.

    “Financial pressures, the increased consumption of alcohol, and holiday expectations can all raise stress levels and lead to incidents of domestic violence,” said Paige Flink, CEO of The Family Place. “Our Safe Campus is a peaceful refuge for survivors, and we work to make it a happy and joyful place for children, especially during the holidays.”

    For most holiday chaos means battling long lines at the mall, but for victims of family violence, the battle can be life threatening. In Texas 158 women were killed by intimate partners in 2015, according to the Texas Council on Family Violence. Dallas County was second only to Harris County with 13 women killed by intimate partners in 2015. Family violence murders are on the rise in Tarrant County and Collin County with six and three fatalities, respectively. 37% of women killed in 2015 had taken steps to end their relationships.

    The Family Place encourages those in abusive relationships to seek help and make a safety plan before leaving to protect themselves and their children. A safety plan is personal to each situation but typically contains contact information of a domestic violence agency or hotline, contact information of trusted friends and/or family, a packed bag of essentials, and important legal documents.

    Because more time is spent at home around family during the holidays, the likeliness of an incident may increase. If you find yourself in a volatile domestic violence situation, remain nonaggressive with your abuser. Know who to reach out to or where to go in case you leave the location. Stay away from rooms in the house with objects that could be used as a weapon, such as the kitchen or bathroom.

    “Anyone experiencing domestic abuse can reach out to The Family Place for help 24 hours a day through our hotline—(214) 941-1991,” Flink said. “We are here with shelter, counseling and support services that help victims escape, stay safe, and start new lives so that the violence doesn’t continue into the next generation.”

    About The Family Place

    The Family Place is one of the largest family violence service providers in the state of Texas providing services in Dallas and Collin counties. The agency works to eliminate family violence through intervention and proactive prevention, extensive community education, and advocacy and assistance for victims and their families. Since 1978 The Family Place has counseled more than 225,000 clients, provided lifesaving shelter to more than 22,000 women, children and men, and answered more than 550,000 calls for help. The Family Place has helped more than 20,000 batterers learn how to change their abusive behavior. Its Be Project provides bullying and teen dating violence prevention education to more than 6,000 students each year. In 2017 The Family Place will open the first family violence shelter for men and their children in the state. All programs are provided in Spanish and English.

    For more information:



  • The Family Place Announces $1 Million Challenge Grant

    by Emily Roberts | Oct 04, 2016

    Contact: Mary Catherine Benavides



    James Dondero Announces $1 Million Challenge Grant from Highland Capital Management to Finish The Family Place’s $16.5 Million Capital Campaign

    Dallas-Based Domestic Agency’s Ann Moody Place Will Serve 2,000 Victims Annually

    [Dallas, TX – October 4, 2016] – James Dondero, co-founder and president of Highland Capital Management, L.P., announced today that the firm has awarded a $1 million challenge grant to help The Family Place raise the final $2.8 million for its Legacy Campaign in the next six months. The announcement was made during The Family Place’s 21st Annual Texas Trailblazer Awards Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas.

    The grant, administered through Highland Dallas Foundation, Inc., the philanthropic arm of Highland Capital Management, will match 50 percent of any funds raised for the capital campaign up to $1 million from now until April 4, 2017.  With $2.8 million needed to reach the campaign fundraising goal of $16.5 million, Highland’s challenge grant will ensure The Family Place finishes the campaign strong.

    Dondero said the grant answers a call to action by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Dallas Police Chief David Brown for the community to help solve this life-threatening issue in Dallas.

    “The civic community in Dallas gets things done,” Dondero said. “We at Highland Capital Management were impressed by the way The Family Place, through avid philanthropic support, took this concept from inception to the final stage of this campaign in just a year. We are proud to invest alongside many of the most generous and thoughtful in the community.”

    “For anyone considering this effort to provide lifesaving shelter and life-changing services to family violence victims in our community, this is a tremendous opportunity to multiply the impact of their gift,” said Paige Flink, Executive Director of The Family Place.

    The Family Place Legacy Campaign supports the construction and operations of a new Central Dallas Counseling Center for family violence victims named in honor of Ann Moody. Designed by leading architecture and design firm Corgan and construction by Hill and Wilkinson, Ann Moody Place includes 13 emergency shelter bedrooms, a medical and dental clinic, a centralized hotline/call center, multiple private and group counseling rooms for children and adults, and multipurpose spaces for job-training.

    The building will serve more than 2,000 victims annually providing critical emergency shelter space, since The Family Place’s existing emergency shelter already operates at capacity. Ann Moody Place will also house the agency’s Be Project, which provides bullying and teen dating violence prevention education reaching more than 6,000 students each year. The facility will have an animal shelter for families who will not leave abusive relationships for fear of leaving behind beloved family pets. It will also provide an on-site child development center.

    The continuum of care provided in this new facility—designed specifically for the delivery of services to family violence victims—is vital to saving lives.

    For more information about Ann Moody Place or The Family Place, please visit www.familyplace.org.


    The Family Place is the largest family violence service provider in the state of Texas. The agency works to eliminate family violence through intervention and proactive prevention, extensive community education, and advocacy and assistance for victims and their families. Since 1978 The Family Place has counseled more than 225,000 clients, provided lifesaving shelter to more than 22,000 women, children and men, and answered more than 550,000 calls for help. The Family Place has helped more than 20,000 batterers learn how to change their abusive behavior. Its Be Project provides bullying and teen dating violence prevention education to more than 6,000 students each year. In 2016 The Family Place will open the first family violence shelter for men and their children in the state. All programs are provided in Spanish and English.


    Highland Capital Management, L.P. is an SEC-registered investment adviser which, together with its affiliates, has approximately $17 billion of assets under management. Founded in 1993 by Jim Dondero and Mark Okada, Highland is one of the largest and most experienced global alternative credit managers. The firm’s diversified client base includes public pension plans, foundations, endowments, corporations, financial institutions, fund of funds, governments, and high net-worth individuals. Highland is headquartered in Dallas, Texas and maintains offices in New York, Sao Paolo, Singapore, and Seoul. Highland Dallas Foundation Inc., the philanthropic arm of Highland Capital Management, is a supporting organization of The Dallas Foundation.


  • The Family Place to Break Ground on Ann Moody Place

    by Emily Roberts | Jun 16, 2016

    Media Contact: Allie Lesiuk

    The Family Place to Break Ground on Ann Moody Place
    Dallas-Based Domestic Violence Prevention Agency Celebrates
    Its New Central Dallas Counseling Center With
    Ground Breaking Ceremony 


    Major Donors at Ann Moody Place

    Representatives from Top Donors to the Legacy Campaign
    Stephanie Bernal, Kaleta Doolin, Lynn McBee, Francie Moody- Dahlberg, Paige Flink, Sarah Losinger, Susan Farris, T. Hardie

    [Dallas, TX – May TK, 2016] – On Tuesday, May 17th The Family Place will host a ground breaking ceremony for its new facility, Ann Moody Place, projected to open in Spring 2017. Among those who will be in attendance are current and past board members of The Family Place, donors to the current capital campaign, board members of Partners Auxiliary, members of SafeKeepers Giving Society, local city council members, representatives from the District Attorney’s office and the Mayor’s office, first ladies of area churches, doctors and administrators from area hospitals, financers of the facility, and The Family Place staff.

    “Breaking ground on the Ann Moody Place is a milestone for The Family Place,” says Paige Flink, Executive Director [rst1] at The Family Place. “We’re looking forward to celebrating with everyone who has made this new facility possible. The Ann Moody Place will provide domestic violence victims with additional shelter and programs that we have not been able to provide to them before, many of which are the first of its kind in the country.”

    The ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m. with lunch provided by Ruthie’s Rolling Cafe, with speeches commencing at 12 p.m. Mike Coffey, Board President of The Family Place, will welcome all attendees to the ceremony, followed by speeches from various attendees instrumental in[rst2]  the center. The event will conclude with speakers participating in the symbolic dirt digging ceremony to commemorate the breaking of ground on the Ann Moody Place. The speakers will give remarks in the following order:

    Mike Coffey
    Board President, The Family Place 

    Minister Cathy Moffitt, Heartfelt International Ministries

    Paige Flink
    CEO, The Family Place

    Lynn McBee
    Foundation Board President, The Family Place

    Frances Moody Dahlberg
    Trustee & Executive Director, The Moody Foundation

    Councilman Adam Medrano
    District 2

    Councilwoman Jennifer Gates
    District 13, Chair of Domestic Violence Task Force

    Todd Nordeen
    Senior Vice President, JPMorgan Chase Bank

    Ryan Suchala
    Dallas Market President, Bank of Texas

    Gilbert Gerst
    Chairman, Dallas Development Fund
    SVP, BOK Financial

    Designed by leading architecture and design firm Corgan, The Ann Moody Place will feature: 13 emergency shelter bedrooms, housing up to 30 victims whom are in grave danger; a centralized hotline/call center to efficiently place clients in shelter or counseling throughout the city; an on-site kennel for beloved family pets that might prevent victims from fleeing to safety without them; specially designed play therapy rooms with observation areas and multiple activity rooms where children can receive the counseling they need; multipurpose spaces for job training to help clients increase their financial security and serve our youth violence education prevention program to prevent future victimization; a medical and dental clinic where residents and medical students from U.T. Southwestern Medical School, Parkland, and local dentists and doctors, can provide free medical and dental services to clients and their children; and finally, multiple private and group counseling rooms for victims to receive support to break the cycle of violence.

    The Ann Moody Place is located in Dallas, TX. For more information about the Ann Moody Place or The Family Place, please visit www.familyplace.org.


    The Family Place is one of the first family violence service providers in the state with a mission to eliminate family violence through intervention and proactive prevention, extensive community education, and advocacy and assistance for victims and their families. The Family Place now provides the largest number of victim services for in the State of Texas. Since 1978, The Family Place has counseled more than 225,000 clients, provided lifesaving shelter to more than 22,000 women, children and men, and answered more than 550,000 calls for help. The Family Place has also helped more than 20,000 batterers learn how to change their abusive behavior. Its youth program, Be Project, reaches approximately 6,000 students each year through youth education programs In 2016, The Family Place will also be the first to open a shelter dedicated to serving the growing need of our male clientele.. All the programs are provided in Spanish and in English. For more information, visit www.familyplace.org.