The Children’s Center for Hope and Healing has moved into a location that doubles its space.
The 25-year-old nonprofit organization, which is now located at 226 Main St. SW in Gainesville, offers free therapeutic services to children who have been the victims of sexual abuse.
The new location provides 4,500 square feet, up from 2,400 square feet in the center’s former location on Oak Street.
One thing the larger center will allow is more group counseling sessions.
“The group sessions are great, especially with the teenagers,” said Rebecca Davis, executive director at Children’s Center for Hope and Healing. “Oftentimes, especially in situations like these, teenagers feel like they are the only person in the world going through a situation. No one wants to feel like they are all alone.
“The group sessions allow them to get together and talk and realize that they aren’t the only one.”
The center covers a 13-county area, including Hall, and serves about 700 people each year, three-quarters of which are served in the Gainesville location. The organization also has an office in Cumming.
The center’s staff of eight therapists and four therapeutic interns mostly provide counseling services, but they sometimes act as advocates in court cases, too, Davis said.
The center’s target client base is 4- to 17-year-olds, but staff say they’ve worked with clients as young as 2. Typically clients work with the center’s staff for about 11 months.
“We will see them as long as they need us,” Davis said. “Sometimes they will come in when they are young and then things will come up later as they get older, so we help them work through those issues.”
As a nonprofit organization, the center relies heavily on community volunteers, donors and grants to keep the center afloat, which costs about $500,000 annually.
As a way of thanking its supporters and to give residents the opportunity to see the new location, the center is hosting a ribbon cutting at 3 p.m. Wednesday.