The Family Place Celebrates 40 Years in Community

To celebrate its four decades in the community, The Family Place is sharing 40 stories of family violence survivors, community supporters, and the women and men who have helped save lives.

The first story shared began with a woman who’s been a part of the nonprofit since its earliest days – Eliza Solender.

Solender was recruited to serve on the organization’s board by its founder and first board president, Gerry Beer. He goal was simple; to broaden funding. That goal came to fruition with funding from the City of Dallas, an increase in United Way allocations, and the creation of an endowment fund with $650,000 from The Crystal Charity Ball.

“Looking back at myself as a young and inexperienced board president, I am so grateful for the support I received from the board members,” Solender said. “Many were much more experienced, nonprofit directors. The board and Gail Griswold, the first executive director, were open to new ideas and very entrepreneurial. An amazing number of new funding initiatives were accomplished during that period.”

Read more about Solender here.

In 1978, a group of community volunteers organized The Family Place as one of the first family violence shelters and service organizations in the state. Today The Family Place is the largest family violence service provider in North Texas, providing 180 shelter beds each night, including the state’s only shelter for men and children.

Read the rest of the stories online here.

Bianca R. Montes

Bianca Montes is an award-winning journalist with a background in crime and government reporting and an obsession with all things culture and arts. She serves as the Managing Editor for Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, curating content for the Living Well and Faith sections, as well as producing the Fall and Spring society sections and 20 Under 40. From luncheons to galas to exhibition openings to new Dallas restaurants, you can find her out and about on Instagram @Bianca_TBD or @peoplenewspapers You can also reach her by email at [email protected] For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.