The Family Peace Project has been awarded a grant to provide additional help for their clients for legal advocacy from the Texas Bar Foundation.

“This grant money can only be used for (that purpose),” Family Peace Project Executive Director Mary Farmer said.

Since its inception in 1965, the Texas Bar Foundation has awarded more than $19 million in grants to law-related programs. The foundation is supported by members of the State Bar of Texas. The Texas Bar Foundation is the nation's largest charitably-funded bar foundation.

Farmer said the Family Peace Project has other financial needs, including raising money to support its shelter program.

“In the last 12 months, we have assisted 14 families by providing a safe place to live. We are able to support families through tough transition out of their abusive situations and help them to regain their confidence and become self-sufficient.”

She said that in the next 12 months, the organization will expand its shelter program to add an additional three bedrooms for its clients. That will almost double the number of families that can be sheltered.

“We have already created a living space for men who are victims of domestic violence. We have the only domestic violence shelter for men in Henderson County.”

It costs $114,720 to operate the shelter at full capacity for a year.

“Our women's shelter normally stays full,” Farmer said.

The expenses include cost of space, utilities, consumable household items, groceries, hygiene products, auto expenses, transportation, medical expenses, child care, school supplies and uniforms, assistance obtaining legal documents and salary for the shelter manager.

“The support of the community is critical in helping provide life-changing services for victims,” Farmer said. “We are very lucky to have amazing support of individual donors, businesses and corporations who believe in our mission. Every donation makes a difference, regardless of size.”

The Family Peace Project provides assistance to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault with a 24-hour hotline, information and referral assistance, court and medical accompaniments and other forms of advocacy.

Advocates also help clients in finding legal resources for divorce, custody, immigration and other legal matters relating to domestic violence or sexual assault.

Donations can be made at familypeaceproject.com. For more about the organization, call 903-677-9177.