Suwannee Democrat

Mayo Free Press

February 21, 2013

Another Way coming to Lafayette

Mayo — Another Way, Inc., a domestic violence and rape crisis center, will be opening up an office soon in Lafayette County on US 27 right across from the new Emergency Operations Center.

Marilyn Adams serves as the outreach advocate for Another Way, Inc. in Lafayette and Hamilton counties for domestic and sexual violence. She is also the sexual assault advocate for Suwannee County.

Adams said she has only been with Another Way for a short time, but she comes with much experience working as an advocate in the Clay County area for another domestic violence shelter prior to moving to the Suwannee Valley area.

“This is my passion because I am a survivor of domestic violence,” said Adams. “I just want to work with the ladies and help them every way I can because I understand exactly what they’re going through.”

The building Adams will be occupying used to be home to the Lafayette EMS. The county sold the old doublewide trailer to Another Way, Inc. for $1, and for the past month volunteers have been working on refurbishing it. The EMS helipad sits just beyond the building and Adams said when the chopper comes in for a landing it is very loud, but she is nonetheless grateful for the opportunity to have a permanent location in Lafayette County.

Campers on Mission is currently in town working on the interior construction of New Hope Baptist Church and several of the women from the group were searching for other projects to work on while in Mayo, according to Betsy Suber, who is a member of the mission group. When they learned of the old trailer Another Way was trying to rehab, they dove right in to offer help, all on a volunteer basis.

“You can’t out-give God,” Suber said. “You give and He gives it right back.”

Suber said the trailer is in need of massive cleanup and a paint job. The floor, she added, had several soft spots, so they called in a few of the men from the mission to come help with the more complex aspects of the job.

Adams wished to thank a host of people for their generous donations toward the project. Mayo Hardware, she said, donated the paint, Morrell’s Home Furnishing store in Lake City donated floor vinyl, and Mayo Truss was able to get them the plywood for the flooring at cost.

“They have been very helpful,” said Adams.

Another Way, Adams said, has two shelters, one in Lake City and the other in Chiefland. She isn’t sure when the Lafayette office will officially open, as it depends on availability of all the volunteers from the mission, since a lot of them come and go due to other commitments.

Suber explained that aside from cleaning, painting and fixing the floors, there is still a lot of other interior work that needs to be done.

“We will try to get in here as often as we can,” she said.

When the project is completed, Adams said they plan on having their community action team meetings there. She said she is usually in Hamilton County on Mondays (court day) and Tuesdays, and expects to be in Lafayette on Wednesdays (court day) and Thursdays. On Fridays she will alternate between the two counties.

Some of the services they offer are counseling, referrals, and attending ISP hearings and dependency court.

“We work closely with DCF (Department of Children and Families),” Adams said.

As a non-profit, Adams explained that funding comes from the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, private donors and sometimes United Way. They also apply for grant monies.

Another Way serves seven counties that include Lafayette, Columbia, Dixie, Levy, Gilchrist, Hamilton and Suwannee. Their purpose is to offer safe shelter, safety planning, individual and group counseling, advocacy, injunction assistance, relocation assistance through the Office of the Attorney General, and many other services, including information on and referrals to other agencies who can assist victims of violence. Callers can speak to an advocate by phoning their 24 hour crisis hotline at 866-875-7983.

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