RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It has been six months since Carol Adams began creating safe place for domestic violence victims and the community on Idlewood Avenue.
“I want them to know this is about love, healing, reflection, growing and taking those next steps," Adams said.
Adams says it was always a dream to have a safe place to escape the nearly 12 years of domestic violence she witnessed growing up. She and her sister witnessed their mothers abuse at the hands of their father.
“There were a lot of times I would get in the fights because I didn’t want him to fight or beat my mom," she said.
In 1980, their world changed when their father killed their mother.
“[I came home], the house was completely silent there was no TV, no radio, no voices or anything. I reached down to take off my shoes in the next room, I heard ‘pow pow pow pow pow,’ so I got up, I ran to the telephone, dialed 911, I told them my dad shot my mom,” she said. “I knew because he had promised so many times - he would say it.”
Adams is a also a Richmond police officer, and has spent 20 years working in law enforcement while giving back to the community in her hometown. She started the The Carol Adams Foundation Inc in 2014.
“I will never be rich monetarily because I give everything away, but I am rich so rich inside," Adams said.
In September 2018, Adams was approved by the City of Richmond to open the Carol Adams Foundation Inc. resource center on Idlewood Avenue. In February 2019, the doors officially opened.
“I think God gave me something creative inside where something old, dusty, dirty, thrown away - I always get to see it shiny, pretty and in a different light," Adams said.
Adams has put her touches all over the half-block long building.
She recently began an after school homework help program. You’ll find photos of the community on the walls, classrooms for tutoring, spaces for counseling and assessment for survivors. The CAFI Resource Center will also offer parenting classes and cooking classes.
As the space continues to grow and become a home for anyone in need, Adams says she constantly thinks about what her mother would say, if she was still on Earth to see it all.
“She would be really really happy," Adams said. “She’s helping so many people other families in her life, and she still has a voice. I make sure she is not forgotten.”
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