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Crisis Services of North Alabama
In January of 1999, HOPE Place and HELPline, two agencies synonymous with crisis prevention and intervention, joined forces to create Crisis Services of North Alabama, Inc. (CSNA), an even stronger multi-service agency for individuals and families in crisis. CSNA is comprised of seven major programs, each of which has specific goals and objectives within the framework of the parent agency.

The HOPE Place Shelter Program presently consists of the main shelter in Madison County and a satellite shelter in Morgan County . HOPE Place provides safe, confidential emergency shelter to adult and child victims of domestic violence. Comprehensive services are provided to victims both in and out-of-shelter. The program includes a 24-hour crisis line; court advocacy services; counseling for adult and child victims; case management services; information and education; and instruction on health and safety issues, legal rights and employment interviewing.

The Crisis Services Program is made up of several sub-programs including Volunteer Services, the HOPE Place First Responder Program, HELPline’s Rape Response and HELPline’s 24-hour crisis line. Individual and group counseling is offered to people in personal crisis. The First Responder Program, created in partnership with the Huntsville Police Department, assists HPD in responding to domestic violence calls and has immediate contact with victims on site, educates victims about the effects of domestic violence on adults and children, informs them of their legal rights, assists them in getting to safe shelter when necessary and offers follow-up services. The Rape Response Program offers confidential emotional support; information and referrals to rape survivors, family members and friends; support groups; and hospital and court accompaniment. The program also constitutes an arm of the Sexual Assault Response Team. Volunteer Services recruits, trains and places volunteers for any of the programs CSNA sponsors. Volunteers who staff HELPline’s 24-hour crisis line are trained to provide crisis intervention when a person is temporarily unable to cope. Referrals are made when other sources of help are needed.

The Outreach Services Program includes the County Coordinator program which is staffed by personnel who provide direct victim assistance such as court and emergency legal advocacy, case management, supportive counseling and education and training in the CSNA service area. This program also includes Special Assessment Intervention Liaisons who work with Department of Human Resources personnel to identify and provide specialized services to domestic violence victims within the DHR system. The program includes court and emergency legal advocacy services which are crucial means of support for unsophisticated abuse victims who must navigate the court system.

The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program utilizes nurses who have been specially trained to provide comprehensive care to sexual assault victims, who demonstrate competency in conducting a forensic exam and who possess the ability to be an expert witness. The SANE Nurse is an integral component of the Sexual Assault Response Team which provides a multidisciplinary response to sexual assaults and includes law enforcement, the nurse examiner, and a rape response advocate.

The HELPnet Program consists of a continually updated Information and Referrals database that includes information regarding community resources, government services and volunteer opportunities. The information is accessible to the general public through a network of touch screen kiosks and computer/workstations located in public sites throughout Madison County as well as through home and business computers. Booths equipped with telephones and computers, in addition to providing information, allow immediate connection to HELPline.

The CASEnet Program is a community-wide Homeless Management and Information System which enables homeless service providers to collect consistent, more complete client information and better coordinate available resources for these clients.

The Education and Training Program offers professional training, community education and a speakers bureau, as well as general and specialized training courses for volunteers and staff members who are interested in volunteering for the 24-hour crisis line, rape response, first responder, or any of the other programs which CSNA sponsors.
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