Friday, January 27, 2012

Planned endings, planned beginnings.

Planned endings, planned beginnings. We at Dove have been busy with celebrating the retirement of Ray Batman, former Executive Director of Dove and Jim Walters, joining the staff in November as the new Executive Director.

Last night, we had a Meet and Greet for Jim. Jim has been active meeting folks in the community, but the Meet and Greet was an opportunity for those who had not met Jim yet to do so. We are glad so many of you stopped by!

We’re excited about moving forward in the months to come. One thing about working at Dove, there are many solid programs working with individuals and families in the community, but there is always something new around the corner. We are ready to see what’s next!

Barb Blakey, Director of Volunteers and Community Relations

Friday, January 20, 2012

Get to Know Jim! (Dove's new Executive Director)

Age:  I’ll be 45 in March
Family: Married to Brandy Mae. Four daughters Murphy 17, Micah 15, Hazel 2, & Isley 1 month
What you like best about your position at Dove: The amazing collection of people who work at Dove. I think in many ways it is the job of the administrator to create an environment to help the staff be successful. Staff success equals good, consistent client services. Dove exists to serve the community.
What you like best about working in Decatur & surrounding communities: When I was in the process of transitioning to Decatur the one thing people constantly told me was that it was a caring/giving community. That has certainly been my experience. I’ve been so impressed to see how the community works together.
Person who has had the biggest influence on you and why: When I grew up – all I wanted to be was Walter Payton. Since then, my life has been blessed with amazing teachers, clergy, co-workers and friends. But today I would say my biggest influence was my dad. Sadly, I didn’t fully appreciate it when he was alive. But as I get older I marvel at his work ethic, unselfishness, and dedication to family. Today, I try to take those values and apply them to my work and family.
What you hope to accomplish at Dove: It all starts with the mission – to meet unmet human needs. Those needs change over time. I hope to create programs flexible enough to meet these ever changing needs.
Favorite stress reliever: You can’t tell by looking at me, but I am a gym rat. Love to go to the gym and get my sweat on!
Favorite movie: American Beauty, 007 (Pierce Bronson is my favorite James Bond), Urban Cowboy. I won’t see any movie staring Ben Affleck.
Favorite book: Captain Saturday by Robert Inman

Interested to learn more and meet Jim in person?  Join us Thursday, January 26th at the Dean Simcox Conference Center (302 S. Union St) from 3:00pm until 6:00pm to meet and greet Jim Walters!  Enjoy refreshments and welcome Jim to Dove and the community!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Annual Point in Time Survey

The annual Point in Time survey will be held on Thursday January 26th. What is the Point in Time survey? This is an important survey as The Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires Continuums of Care to conduct an annual count of the homeless within that Continuum over a 24 hour period during the last week in January. HUD then uses this information to determine the need and characteristics of homelessness around the country.

Dove’s Homeward Bound program leads the count process for Macon County by securing volunteers to administer surveys at various locations where homeless families and individuals might frequent. The locations range from the local library to viaducts and parks.

HUD’s definition of homeless has four categories;
1.) Literally homeless individuals/families
2.) Individuals/families who will imminently (within 14 days) lose their primary nighttime residence with no subsequent residence, resources or support networks
3.) Unaccompanied youth or families with children/youth who meet the homeless definition under another federal statute and three additional criteria
4.) Individuals/families fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence with no subsequent residence, resources or support networks

These categories are then used in the report given to HUD. This information can also be used to assist in obtaining funding for the community, bring about community awareness and provides guidance for the Continuum of Care’s Homeless Advisory Council and Governing Board in decision making.

This year the count will be conducted beginning 12:01 a.m. and will end at 11:59 p.m. on January 26th, 2012. Terry Cunningham is the Point in Time Coordinator and is currently in the process of contacting volunteers and conducting volunteer trainings. Please contact her if you would like to volunteer for a wonderful opportunity to help your community! Look for the results of this survey to be posted in March 2012!
Contact information: Terry Cunningham – email: phone: 217-972-4250

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Dream

Forty-eight years ago a great man gave a great speech about having a dream in this country. In his dream, everyone was equal in America--regardless of their race. One man, in the midst of legally allowed and even encouraged segregation, had a dream that all of us, “will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.”

And while we have undoubtedly made some strides toward this dream of Reverend King’s, we are not all equal. We live in a society where there is still strong need for institutions such as Affirmative Action to try and help eliminate inequality and injustice against minority populations.

As we approach Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, I can’t help but wonder how many people really understand why we celebrate it. I wonder how many people just ignore the message behind the holiday and simply revel in the fact they get a day off work or school. I wonder how many people take the dream seriously and strive to do their part in carrying on Dr. King’s message of hope, determination, and non-violence in seeking equality.

It is easy to sit back and say that it’s not your problem, that it doesn’t affect you, but truthfully, inequality and injustice affects all of us at some level or another. We as a society are only as great as the way we treat our most deprived of citizens--something King recognized.

I challenge you to make 2012 the year that you do something--anything--to make a difference in your community, to fight for equality and justice for those who may not be able to fight for themselves for any number of reasons. To make a difference and change lives. It’s something that Dove, Inc., does every day.

What will you contribute to the dream this year?

--Angie Williams, Administrative Specialist, Dove's Domestic Violence Program

Friday, January 6, 2012


Welcome to the first installment of the Dove blog. Dove is a coalition of religious organizations, volunteers, and advocates that seeks to coordinate efforts to address unmet human needs and social injustices. Dove works for justice, equality and understanding among all people. This blog was created for those who share these values and want to have a positive impact on our community. This is a collaborative effort of staff, volunteers, and program participants. Our goal is to inform you about the inner workings at Dove and the challenges we face. We would like to think this will be an educational format that encourages discussion and action. Perhaps we may also entertain you along the way.
As you may know, I am new both to Dove and Decatur. The process of starting a new job and relocating has been exciting for me and my family. I’ve learned that Decatur is a caring community. People are active in their churches, schools, and across a variety of social service organizations. There is a sense of community pride unmatched anywhere I’ve lived before. I’ve also met many great supporters in Clinton and am looking forward visiting our offices in Moultrie and Shelby counties. These communities have been very generous to Dove. What has surprised me is how people know Dove. Some know us as a place for victims of domestic violence to seek safety; others know our commitment to help the homeless. Perhaps you donated a coat for our annual coat drive or you have utilized our recycling center. Maybe you know someone active in RSVP or your group of volunteers has completed a service project for us. You may be part of a neighborhood group organized by Dove and your child in elementary school certainly has interacted with our BABES program. Yes, Dove is all of these things. To learn more about the services Dove provides please visit our web-site at and become a fan of us on Facebook.
Thank you for following our blog and your interest in Dove. The staff here, almost 50 strong, is an amazing collection of dedicated advocates. Your interest in our programs, having the support of the community, provides all of us the motivation to face difficult challenges. At our core it is our belief in the mission to address unmet needs. God bless you all.

Jim Walters – Executive Director

The winds of change are upon us

  As the summer fades away, the winds of change are upon us.    The wildflowers are in bloom along the roadways, the crops in the fields are...