MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A nearly century-old building full of Memphis history is finding a new identity helping the city’s hundreds, if not thousands, of victims of crime.
“The whole atmosphere here is just different,” said Sandy Bromley, Director of the Shelby County Crime Victims & Rape Crisis Center (CVRCC).
The county agency has been in its new home at 1060 Madison for a little more than a week. It is a building steeped in Memphis history, most recently operating as the Regional Forensic Center and before that – a 1920s hospital.
"We want to honor the legacy of this building," said Bromley, "We know there are folks that are going to get healed and get the healing they need."
Any victim of crime is referred to the CVRCC, where they can receive crisis intervention services, be interviewed by police on site, and be assisted by counselors through the criminal justice process – including the investigation and trial.
"Robbery, homicide survivors, general assault victims, or sexual violence victims, all of those folks are able to come here," she said.
In 2017 Shelby County Commissioners approved a $4 million overhaul of the historic building to move the center from a smaller, leased space blocks up the road.
Bromley said she's added staff members and counselors through roughly $1 million in grants to expand the agency's services. Her hope is that the center can make a bigger impact with bigger space.
"It's just a space that victims can walk in and know that they can feel safe here and feel some peace here, and hopefully start their healing journey," she said.
“Eight years ago this coming June, I was shot one night,” said Bob Clyburn.
Clyburn had to get help from the center in his life. A victim of crime multiple times, he currently teaches carpentry to inmates at the penal farm.
He credits staff at the center with helping him get back on his feet during those tough times and said it’s important that more crime victims like himself will have access to services.
“It makes a big difference,” he said, “It’s not only the physical trauma you go through but everything else in your life it affects.”
The CVRCC does not deal with cases of domestic, intimate partner violence. Those are handled by the Family Safety Center, located at 1750 Madison Avenue.