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The Lighthouse to Break Ground at New Site

GASTONIA, N.C. – The Lighthouse: Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, July 22 at 9:00 a.m. at its future location at 3100 City Church Street, off South New Hope Road.

The CAC – known as ‘A place of healing and hope’ – opened to clients in April 2016 on the lower level of the Highland Health Center in Gastonia with a mission “to provide a safe and child-friendly location that will assist in the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases, while focusing on reducing trauma to child victims and their families.” Since that time, The Lighthouse has served more than 1,700 children.

A child advocacy center acts as a roadmap to assist children and their families from initial concern or disclosure through their healing journey and offers support, education, and referrals during this difficult time. The Lighthouse, along with the Cathy Mabry Cloninger Domestic Violence Shelter, and the Family Justice Center, are all a part of the Hope United Survivor Network. With so many families in the community in need, the current facility is not large enough to handle the numbers.

“No parent wants to find themselves in this situation,” said Tara Joyner, director of the Hope United Survivor Network. “However, at this new facility, children and families will receive the services needed to heal from the trauma they have experienced.”

City Church offered the land to The Lighthouse to assist in its efforts to secure a larger, more child-friendly location. City Church has partnered with The Lighthouse for several years by providing land, making financial contributions, advocating for child abuse prevention education, and offering community support.

The new, larger facility will offer a more home-like feel to help children and their families using the facility feel more comfortable, while also providing room to grow to meet increased needs for services. It will provide specialized medical services and serve as a collaborative-use space for various law enforcement jurisdictions, mental health providers, prosecutors, and child welfare staff.

For more information about The Lighthouse, visit