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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Christos House welcomes victims of domestic abuse

Thursday, November 3, 2005

NEW STORE: Christos House has opened on Court Square in Alton. Sherry Fohey, left, is the outreach administrator for the store and Julie Morris is the director of operations. Photo/Lawrence
ALTON -- Christos House has opened an outreach center in Alton. It is located at 21 Court Square. Sherry Fohey is the outreach administrator and Julie Morris is the director of operations.

The main Christos House is located in West Plains. It was founded in 1982. A 32-bed facility in Pomona serves victims of domestic abuse and violence.

"We serve eight counties in southern Missouri. They are Oregon, Carter, Douglas, Ozark, Howell, Shannon, Texas and Wright," Morris said.

"Our main mission is to provide a safe place for victims of domestic violence to escape the abuse and make positive changes in a supportive atmosphere," Fohey said.

She said they are also in the process of establishing a support group in Oregon County. "This is where women can come in and discuss their situation in and around other women. A lot of women feel like they are alone. We give them safety plans and teach them what to do to be prepared," Morris said. The staff also works with teenagers and offers parenting classes in all eight counties.

Morris and Fohey both agreed there is a huge need for such a place in Oregon County. "Since our doors opened here in December of last year we have served 82 women," Fohey said.

The office is funded by the state and federal government. It is non-profit and relies greatly on the contributions of the community and volunteers.

"Other services we might offer are to those in need of diapers, electrical deposits, clothing vouchers and others," Morris said.

The Alton store offers a variety of clothing, knickknacks, food, toys, books and more. All money made at the Alton store stays in Oregon County. The store is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is a shelter staff on call 24 hours a day at West Plains.

The staff of the Alton office is active in the community. They bring different programs to schools in the county. Morris said they will come to clubs and organizations to speak. The Alton office can be reached at 417-778-1773. The West Plains office can be reached at 417-256-4308.

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