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Women of Influence – Emily’s Place

Long-term Transformational Care for Victims of Domestic Violence
| |Photo by Vanessa Gavalya
Emily's Place
Left to Right: Kristine Castro, Camille Kraeplin, Bridget Ellis, Brynn Bruno, Kerry Marzahl Vanessa Gavalya

Emily’s Place, now celebrating its 20th year, exemplifies women empowering women. What began two decades ago as a small, nonprofit grassroots organization to help victims of domestic violence has expanded to a growing campus in Plano that houses 64 women and children as they rebuild their lives. Emily’s Place
is staffed by nine women—former teachers, social workers, college professors, and accountants—who apply their experience and knowledge to make a difference in the lives of the residents.

Emily’s Place serves a wide range of ages and demographics, but one common denominator is their commitment to thrive after escaping domestic violence. Unlike at other shelters, residents of Emily’s Place can stay for up to two years and continue participating through its graduate program. “This is where women and children go after leaving a shelter,” says Brynn Bruno, executive director. “Our residents are the most vulnerable because they don’t have a traditional support system and don’t know how to build one. We help them create their toolbox with financial literacy, job training and placement, childcare, transportation, counseling, and housing so they have the tools necessary to overcome challenges that could cause them to return to their abuser. Emily’s Place is often the first stability they have. In many ways, this is their family.”

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