Safe Futures Opens Full-Time Counseling Office in Downtown Norwich

Safe Futures is pleased to announce that it has re-established a full-time counseling and advocacy office in downtown Norwich.  The office is located at 241 Main Street, suite 102.  Counseling and Advocacy services will be offered on Mondays through Fridays, from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.  There is no charge to meet with a Safe Futures advocate and all information is kept confidential. Appointments may be made by calling (860) 447-0366 x265. Services can also be accessed 24/7 via the Safe Futures hotline: (860) 701-6000.

A Spanish-speaking advocate will be available on Fridays. Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are also welcome. 

Funding to help restore Safe Futures Norwich office has been received from Chelsea Groton Foundation, Inc., the Community Foundation of Eastern CT, Eastern Savings Bank Foundation, Inc., J. Walton Bissell Foundation, Inc., the Edward and Mary Lord Foundation, the R.S. Gernon Trust, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee, as well as from the City of Norwich (Community Development Block Grant) and two private foundations. Backus Hospital also provided an office space within its Center for Mental Health on a temporary basis for the last three years. Safe Futures celebrated the re-opening with an open house for its community partners on October 8th.

In July 2009, non-profits around the country and the State of Connecticut were reeling from economic uncertainty.  Each day brought more news of funding cuts. It was then, that the then Women’s Center of Southeastern Connecticut made the difficult decision to close its Norwich counseling office. But from the moment the doors were closed, Cathy Zeiner, Executive Director, and her staff began working toward the goal of bringing walk-in counseling back to Norwich.  It wasn’t a matter of whether or not to do it, but rather a matter of how and when.

Then, this fact became clear: with the closing of the Norwich counseling office, the number of people being served in Norwich dropped by approximately 450 annually. Clearly, the need for services in Norwich was high. Safe Futures was determined to find the funds to restore this program.

 “We are thrilled to be able to restore some of the services that were cut due to funding constraints when the economy soured,” says Catherine Zeiner, Executive Director of Safe Futures. “We are grateful to have had the support of Backus Hospital in the interim. Their help enabled us to have some counseling available in the area. Yet we knew we needed our own space where we could operate full-time and ensure the safety of people coming to us for help.” 

Ms. Zeiner adds, “Being in Norwich is critical for victims in the area that need support – coming to New London is not always feasible for everyone, and, the hotline is just not the same as meeting face-to-face with a counselor.”

Safe Futures, founded in 1976 as the Women’s Center of Southeastern Connecticut, operates two 24-hour hotlines, an emergency shelter and a transitional living program for families working to rebuild lives shattered by domestic violence or sexual assault.  Safe Futures also provides legal assistance, counseling and advocacy, case management, support groups and educational programs for schools as well as community groups.  All 21 towns in New London County are served by the agency.

During 2014, Safe Futures sheltered 166 women, children and men fleeing abuse in its safe house or other safe shelter; provided free, confidential counseling to 5,130 clients seeking assistance for domestic violence and sexual assault; and educated over 4,300 students in violence prevention education.  A hotline and shelter services are available 24/7/365.  For more information, visit
WHAT:           Norwich Counseling Center Re-Opens
WHO:             Safe Futures
WHERE:         241 Main Street, Suite 102, Norwich, CT
WHEN:           Mondays through Fridays, 9:00 am- 5:00 pm
HOW:             Services are free and confidential
For more information or to make an appointment, call (860) 447-0366 x265.
Safe Futures is part of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV).  Safe Futures is also a Partner Agency of United Way and its programs are funded in part by the State of Connecticut’s Departments of Social Service, Mental Health and Addiction Services, and Office of Victim Services, Judicial Branch.