Towards the end of 2015 MaryAnn Miars Peercy, was hired as Executive Director of the Southern Ohio Domestic Violence Shelter in Portsmouth.
Peercy said she wanted to keep the leadership change low-key, until she could complete some training.
The shelter is now looking to boost its image within the community as a resource for those in need.
Peercy said since taking over as Executive Director some changes have been implemented. “our facility is open 24/7 and we’re a shelter for men, women and children,” Peercy said.
Among the programs and activities of the shelter includes a support group that meets every Friday.
She said in the past, the shelter has always been considered an undisclosed location. Now, the shelter wants make the community aware of its existence as a resource. The shelter is open to the public at 2315 Grant Street in Portsmouth.
When asked about hopes for the future of the shelter Peercy said, “we’re hoping for more visibility. more clients that can come in, be sheltered and received our services. We want to be able to empower clients to get back on their feet and back out into society.”
Gary Heimbach, a member of the Southern Ohio Domestic Violence Board of Directors complimented Peercy and the leadership she’s brought to the shelter and its operations.
“We were looking for visionary leadership for the agency. She’s (Peercy) is definitely bringing that to the agency and our mission. We’ve had great leadership in the past and we have the very best now. We’re excited about the future and we want to serve clients and make an impact on domestic violence.”
Peercy said Domestic Violence continues to be an issue locally and throughout the United States. Domestic Violence is not limited to physical abuse it also includes, verbal and emotional abuse.
Through the shelter Peercy and her staff are able to help individuals with abusive situations though a variety of avenues.
One of the consistent needs of the shelter is supplies.
“We rely on donations from the community to run the facility. That would mean food, toiletry items, clothing and basically anything it take to run your own household is what we need to run this facility,” Peercy said.
She said there is not one need bigger than the other for the shelter, there is a consistent need for those supplies and food. The shelter is also able to take monetary donations.
Peercy has been known in the community for a number of years as the Executive Director of the United Way of Scioto and Adams Counties. She will continue in that role part-time.
For more information about the Southern Ohio Domestic Violence Shelter visit them on Facebook or @ohioDVshelter on Twitter.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT