24-HOUR CRISIS LINE Phone: (252) 541-2064

Business Office

Phone: (252) 541-2037
Fax: (252) 541-2500
Mailing Address: PO Box 1392, Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870

Hannah’s Closet

258 Roanoke Avenue
Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870
(252) 541-1127

Services provided by Hannah’s Place, Inc. are free and confidential. Call the office for more information regarding services. (252) 541-2037

Hannah’s Place, Inc. works with leaders from various faith communities to raise awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault and provide them with tools and resources to help victims.

Hannah’s Place provides the following services:

  • 24-hour crisis line
  • Hospital Advocacy
  • Crisis intervention
  • Court Advocacy
  • Assistance with Protective Orders
  • Safety Planning
  • Latino Outreach
  • Emergency Assistance – to victims and their families, including shelter, transportation, aid in applying to either legal or social services
  • Shelter – a safe place to relax and plan for the future
  • Support – maybe you lost strength, we’ll try to help you regain it. Individual and group support sessions
  • Referral and Information – we can try to help you find and get help from the Community resources
  • Confidentiality – you can talk about your problems and know that it is not going any further.
  • Community education – we will provide a speaker to address your group about the issue of domestic violence or sexual assault.
  • School presentations
  • Volunteer opportunities

Hannah’s Place was incorporated as a non-profit agency that served the needs of battered women in the Roanoke Valley Area in 1984. The name “Hannah’s Place” was chosen, after much debate, by Bill Smythe, who was then the Rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Roanoke Rapids. He was the chairman of the original Board of Directors and the church which he had been instrumental in the foundation of the agency. Other members of the original Board were Jan Freeman, Peggy Robinson, Thomas Wellman, Reverend Jack Bracey and Samuel Lane. Mr. Smythe chose the name for the Book of 1st Samuel 2:1-10, which includes the “Song of Hannah” where she exalts God for answering her prayers and bringing her triumphantly out of an unhappy home situation. 

Although Hannah’s Place was incorporated at this time, the actual history goes back much further to the year 1977, when the State Council on the Status of Women funded a coordinator to oversee a program which offered battered women shelter in local motels. The woman hired for this position was named Francis Rowl. Then between late 1980 and early 1981, two Dominican Nuns by the names of Sister Maureen Fenlon and Sister Iva Gregory came to the county and began offering shelter in their home to victims of domestic violence. They were aided by two women who worked at the Halifax County Mental Health Center, Jan Freeman and Pam Best. During this same time, a community-wide meeting of women drew sixty participants who met to identify the needs of the women in our area. One of the identified needs was an official shelter program for battered women.

Out of the meeting came an organization called Women Organized for Meeting Each (Other’s) Needs, which served as the founding entity for a women’s center. A grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation provided funds for hiring a coordinator, renting a meeting area and providing motel money for victims of domestic violence. The coordinator for this effort was Cora Pickett. 

In 1982, funds were sought and found to rent an apartment to serve as a full time shelter. Rachel Neathery was the next coordinator and upon her resignation, Martha Moore became the shelter DIroctor/Coordinator. The shelter was located in a rented apartment on Madison St in Roanoke Rapids and was then relocated to another apartment on Hamilton St in Roanoke Rapids. Martha Moore had resigned two months earlier and Judy Winfree was hired to assume her duties. The shelter remained at that location for a year. A decision was made by the Board of Directors during this time to try to find a house ot purchase or the shelter. In 1989, a 3 bedroom, bath and a half house was purchased through assumption of a mortgage loan what was then Rosemary Federal Savings and Loan.

From that time until 1994, the domestic violence services were coordinated by Judy Winfree from her home and the office of All Saint’s Episcopal Church. In March of 1994, office space was rented at 442 Jackson Street.

On May 2, 1994, the rape Crisis Component of Hannah’s Place was officially open for business under the name of Roanoke Valley Rape Crisis. Diane T. Elliott, R.N. was hired as program director and office space was shared with the Domestic Violence Program of Hannah’s Place. The Rape Crisis Center received its’ first client referral on June 1, 1994 from a detective of the Weldon Police Department.

November of 1994, there were several major changes in personnel. Judy Winfree resigned and moved to Raleigh and Diane T. Elliott was appointed as Executive Director of the entire agency with the understanding that she would continue to be responsible for the Rape and Crisis Program as well. Martha Merritt was hired as the new Director of the Domestic Violence Program and is responsible for all the client and shelter management as well as participating in educational presentations and other related duties.

At this point in time, it was only natural to review the previous accomplishments of Hannah’s Place and to look at possible ways to expand our focus and our services. One was that our focus shifted was to include more preventive education and materials for the Domestic Violence Program. Various brochures were developed for specific populations and their needs. There were numerous contacts made throughout the Roanoke Valley area to inform both the private and public sector of all the recent changes in the agency.

Hannah’s Place sent out its’ first quarterly newsletter in February of 1995. In April of 1995,we relocated to our business office to 255 Roanoke Avenue in the Moody Building. We now have a conference/support group area, a business area, two private offices, a play/interview room and a small storage area. This enables us to have more “on site” activities and increases our availability to the public. As more people become aware of both programs, the number of clients counseled regarding their options out of crisis situations increased and we were able to help more of these women and children move towards a more self-sufficient, violence-free life. As a result of broadening our range of services offered, our number of clients served increased dramatically in 1995.

Fiscal year 1995-96 saw an increase in referrals from various agencies and greater involvement in community education. A comprehensive prevention and response educational program for elementary students will be ready for presentation in the fall of 1996. This program will include audio-visual presentations, hand puppets, work books and student and teacher interaction. Previously, presentations had been brief and random, according to the individual teacher invitations. The current course will last several weeks. Another improvement in the area of child sexual abuse is the birth of a multi-disciplinary team to deal with these cases. Although still in the infant stages, it is a great move forward for our county. As the prevalence of sexual assault and abuse becomes more and more evident and more reported, the requests for our services in both areas of prevention have steadily increased. 

An educational program has been implemented at the request of the Department of Social Services for women who are a risk for out of home placement of their children due to violence in the home. In conjunction with intense counseling at the Mental Health Center, the course is intended to provide instruction on the types of abuse, the dynamics of violent relationships, the effects on children, the intergenerational cycle and in defining the healthy relationship.

You can now donate funds to Hannah's Place via Paypal by using the yellow " Donate" button to the right. By clicking on this button, you can make donations using your Paypal account, or with your debit or credit card. All donations will go to assist victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in our local community. No amount is too little to give!!!

Thanks for you kindness and consideration on behalf of the Staff and Board members of Hannah's Place...