In 1978 the League of Women Voters and the Dalton Junior Women’s Club became concerned about abuse in the community and joined together to conduct a survey to determine the need for a shelter. From that effort, a steering committee made up of individuals from different groups launched an effort to develop a shelter for abused adults and children. Virtually every civic, family-child organization and social services agencies in Dalton became involved.
The purpose of the Northwest Georgia Family Crisis Center was established to provide temporary shelter, care and referral assistance to abused persons. In January 1979 a Board of Directors was named and the board was incorporated. The first facility was donated by the First Baptist Church. The Board of Directors through donations purchased the site for the shelter.Volunteers donated time, services, materials and money to move and renovate the facility which was ready for operation early in 1980.
In 1980 the Center was approved to receive an annual allocation for operations from the City of Dalton and Whitfield County. Also, in 1980 the Center was accepted as a United Way agency and began receiving funds in 1981. Betty Higgins was hired in July 1980 as the first Director of the agency. Katora Printup was named Director of the agency in March of 2009 when Betty Higgins retired from the agency. In addition, the agency has a core of approximately 30 volunteers who assisted with all levels of operations. Volunteers assisted with clerical duties, shelter supervision, housekeeping duties, the agency’s hotline and other tasks. The agency was certified as a family violence shelter with a capacity of 12 in 1988 when such certification became a requirement in order to receive state funding. The growing demand for services and shelter led the agency to purchase and renovate a second building to be used for extended shelter in 1990. This facility made it possible to provide emergency shelter and had a certified capacity of 12 individuals. With the addition of the second facility the total shelter capacity was increased to 24. In 1997, our facility was able to build a new shelter which enabled our agency to combine both of our facilities into one. The current capacity for our facility is 36 individuals. From its inception in 1979 until today the Northwest Georgia Family Crisis Center continues to be a haven for battered and abused women and children due to generous and caring people in this community.