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MailTribune.com
  • Community Works director quits

  • Anna D'Amato, longtime director of victims services for Community Works, resigned Monday.
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  • Anna D'Amato, longtime director of victims services for Community Works, resigned Monday.
    Ginger Lee, president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit that provides services for domestic abuse victims and at-risk youth, declined to comment on D'Amato's departure, but wished her well.
    "Everybody is really grateful for what she's built," Lee said, adding she expects to have an interim director in place by Wednesday.
    Lee said the new director is from the Rogue Valley, but she declined to name the person. A permanent director will be named after a more extensive search has been completed, she said.
    D'Amato could not be reached for comment Monday.
    In spring 2004, D'Amato stepped down as the first director of the Rogue Valley Habitat for Humanity to begin working a part-time position at Community Works. She handled the outreach program for Dunn House, a domestic violence shelter. D'Amato then became the organization's director of victims' services.
    Community Works remains dedicated to helping those who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault or sudden homelessness, Lee said, adding the "common thread" for all programs within the Community Works' umbrella is that it serves people who have "suffered a severe life trauma."
    "Everything's continuing," Lee said. "The programs and access to all services are not changing."
    Community Works services — from Dunn House to victim services to HelpLine to Lithia Springs school and residential care facilities — remain operational, Lee said.
    "Internal leadership changes happen all the time," Lee said. "But our staff is so deeply grounded and passionate about their work."
    D'Amato and Lee spoke to the Mail Tribune in December about the looming "fiscal cliff" that threatened services to the elderly, disabled and poor. Community Works, like many organizations, relies heavily on government grants to pay the bills, along with donations and other community support. It receives about 80 percent of its $4 million annual budget from grants, they said.
    Last year, Jackson County declined to renew the organization's contract to provide mental heath care for clients because of budget constraints and allocation changes related to the poor fiscal climate, Lee said.
    Losing the county contract necessitated firing several counselors, Lee said. But she also said "that could all change tomorrow" if funding improves.
    "Funding is always going to shift. Personnel might shift. But we keep our eye on the mission," Lee said.
    Lee said the organization recently began a capital campaign that includes the creation of "The Giving Club." Club members' dues will provide unrestricted funds to help benefit Community Works' many programs, Lee said.
    The Club Launch will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 14, at a local winery. It will be the first of two parties planned by the club in 2013.
    For more information, contact Lee at 541-779-2393 x 227 or email her at gingerlee@community-works.org.
    Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or e-mail sspecht@mailtribune.com.
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