By Conrad Dudderar
As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Cardinal Point will kick off its third operating year next Tuesday, Oct. 4 with the second annual Canadian County “Honoring Hope” luncheon.
The noon fund-raising luncheon will be hosted by Yukon’s Discovery Church, 900 E Main.
This hour-long special event will raise awareness about services that Canadian County’s family justice center and its resource partners provide domestic violence survivors, according to CEO Kristie Chandler.
“This crime impacts so many lives,” Chandler said. “You probably know someone, in fact.”
Cardinal Point, one of three family justice centers in Oklahoma, serves victims of domestic abuse, child abuse, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, elder abuse, and human trafficking.
Cardinal Point and its resource partners provide a welcoming, safe place where adult and youth victims can go when they are hurting.
Guest speaker for Tuesday’s Honoring Hope luncheon will be a survivor who experienced domestic abuse during her law enforcement career. Attendees will listen to her story while enjoying a chef-prepared lunch.
“We’re hoping to draw folks who weren’t able to come to our first Honoring Hope luncheon last year (at the Canadian County Expo Center) in El Reno,” Chandler said.
“We appreciate an invitation to bring our message and awareness of what we do to any group or business in the community as well.”
Cardinal Point’s family justice center opened in January 2021 inside a converted/renovated 5,100-square-foot space at the Canadian County Children’s Justice Center, 7905 E Hwy 66 in El Reno.
“The work that we do and the work that the Children’s Justice Center does is ‘hand-in-hand’,” Chandler explained. “It’s been very important for us to be able to lean on each other when those times come that we have to serve the same families.”
Canadian County Commissioners established the Cardinal Point public trust in October 2020.
Board of trustees are District Attorney Mike Fields (chair), Canadian County Commissioner Dave Anderson (vice-chair), survivor Heidi Oliver (secretary-treasurer), domestic violence professional Jacqueline Steyn, and Undersheriff Kevin Ward.
A GOOD SIGN
Cardinal Point (a “direction for hope”) served over 500 domestic violence survivors during its second operational year, which ended Sept. 30. More than 400 were “new” clients seeking help for the first time.
“People are becoming more comfortable reporting and more comfortable coming to the resources that are available,” Chandler noted.
Cardinal Point’s resource partners are Intervention and Crisis Advocacy Network (ICAN), the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office, Legal Aid, The Canadian County Children’s Justice Center, the District Attorney’s Office, and SafeCare.
“Cardinal Point is the ‘navigator’ to all of their unique and specialized services,” Chandler said.
There have been discussions about moving Cardinal Point to the current Canadian County Health Department’s Yukon office when a new CCHD site opens near Hwy 66 and Evans Road.
“We want to send a message to survivors in the county that they deserve a space that’s going to accommodate all of their needs as we grow,” Chandler added. “We want to look to that future and brighter days.”
Canadian County’s family justice center has relied heavily this past year on federal funding through the Office on Violence Against Women ($93,370) and Victims of Crime Act ($124,084) grants. Canadian County Commissioners allocated $25,000 through the county budget.
Individuals, churches and civic groups continue to help with donations.
More than $14,000 was raised in October 2021 at Cardinal Point’s inaugural community awareness luncheon. Organizers hope to at least match that amount this time.
To host a table or otherwise support next Tuesday’s Honoring Hope luncheon, call (405) 776-0990 or email cardinalpointok.org