In 1979, a group of women from Belmont County decided that there was a need to help other women who were victims of domestic violence. These visionary sisters met at each other’s homes to start The Task Force for Battered Women.
Their seed money came from a provision in the newly passed Ohio legislation on domestic violence which allowed for a percentage of the Marriage License Fees to be given to local domestic violence shelters.
Later, they were able to secure a grant and funding, thanks to the guidance of Margaret “Peg” Waterkotte (after whom Peg’s House is named), and incorporated as The Women’s Tri-County Help Center, Inc.
During the first years of the Women’s Center, victims were sheltered in a room at the Clarendon or Floridian Hotels and volunteers delivered food vouchers, helped victims through the court system and advocated for the rights of domestic violence victims within our communities.
As the financial standing of the agency grew, more staff were hired and programs developed to reach out to more victims. In 1986 the agency purchased a house that became Peg’s House. The agency has continued to grow in terms of both the number of persons provided with agency services and in the number of staff.
In June 2003, responding to the expanded growth of the agency, the Board of Directors voted to change the name of The Women’s Tri-County Help Center, Inc. to Tri-County Help Center, Inc. with a strong commitment to continue to support women’s issues.
Today, TCHC employs 17 full-time staff and 9 contract personnel at the administrative office, satellite offices in Harrison and Monroe counties, and Peg’s House. In 2018, the agency served nearly 800 people. Services are continually expanding to meet the needs of our communities. TCHC is a leader in building bridges with other service providers to create a community response to domestic violence and mental illness.
We believe in the potential of all people and will support, accept and respect all who seek help. We will listen to people and help them achieve their goals.
We promote collaboration to solve problems on individual, agency, and community levels.
We serve victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and persons with emotional or mental health issues, and will advocate for them on a local, statewide, and national level.
We fight the oppression of any person or group, including those oppressed by virtue of their victimization, race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, mental status, or other condition.
We will work toward building a safe and respectful community.
TCHC is first and foremost an organization that was founded to fight domestic violence and sexual assault. It has evolved and continues to evolve to meet the needs of survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, along with the needs of members in the community who are victims of other forms of oppression.
TCHC is committed to the continued use of a feminist/grassroots model for providing services to individuals, groups, families, or communities who seek our help. As such, TCHC embraces the following Core Values:
We are committed to encouraging persons seeking our help to explore options and make choices. We are committed to helping people identify their strengths and build self-sufficiency.
We recognize that the challenges faced by the people we serve are not limited to issues of interpersonal violence. We are committed to enhancing the services we provide to maximize access to needed supports.
TCHC was founded through a grassroots movement to address the issue of interpersonal violence. As we look to the future, we strive to keep our roots in the grass, even as we grow in size and professional ability. The agency manifests its commitment to maintaining the primacy of the person served through the Table of Organization, policies and procedures, organizational culture, and commitment to customer service
TCHC exists to help people. Therefore, all actions, policies, and procedures initiated and implemented by the agency will uphold the rights of the people we serve to confidentiality, dignity, and respect.
TCHC is a private, non-profit organization. With an annual operating budget of $1.7 million, TCHC has a diverse and stable funding base, which breaks down as follows:
Mental Health and Recovery Board: provides funding for sliding-fee scale mental health clients and funding for Shelter Clients
State and Federal Grants: provides funding for victim assistance program personnel, related personnel expenses, and Shelter expenses
Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance: provides funding for clients seeking mental health services