Centene Foundation and WellCare of North Carolina Invest in New Family Justice Center to Advance Community Health

District Attorney Spencer Merriweather at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Umbrella Center

Mecklenburg County District Attorney Spencer Merriweather holds a commemorative brick at The Umbrella Center groundbreaking event.


The Centene Foundation and WellCare of North Carolina are supporting the creation of The Umbrella Center, a comprehensive family justice center in Charlotte, NC. Slated to open in the summer of 2026, The Umbrella Center will provide holistic services to those impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, elder and child abuse, and human trafficking.

Together, the Foundation and WellCare will invest $1.95 million over the course of three years to renovate and expand The Umbrella Center’s facility and support its services, aligning with our mission to promote health and well-being in the communities we serve.

The center is a public-private collaboration between Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte, WellCare, Pat’s Place Child Advocacy Center and Safe Alliance – all of whom play unique roles in its operations. The City and County have invested nearly $15 million in the construction of the new facility, while Pat’s Place will contribute its services to child victims of abuse, and Safe Alliance will operate the facility and offer programs to those impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault. Once completed, The Umbrella Center will house additional service agencies, legal services, law enforcement, and healthcare providers to support individuals and families seeking asylum.

rendering of the Umbrella Center building

At the groundbreaking, Audra T., a survivor of domestic violence, publicly shared her personal experience and the importance of seeking help.

“The first time I called the police they responded with compassion and concern, and gave me a pamphlet with 62 phone numbers of organizations that a victim of domestic violence might need,” said Audra. “[But] I was still in shock and overwhelmed. I didn’t know which numbers to call, so I didn’t call any of them…The Umbrella Center is going to be a game-changer for victims…There will be [only] one phone number for victims to call – whether they know what they need or not – and this will save lives.”

group photo at the groundbreaking ceremony

Troy Hildreth, CEO of WellCare of North Carolina, emphasized the Center's role in the community. “For people impacted by interpersonal violence who are seeking protection and a safe haven in the Charlotte community, The Umbrella Center will serve as a one-stop-shop to offer the necessary resources and support. We are exceptionally proud to partner with the Centene Foundation and many other local organizations to uplift families and the Charlotte community.”

Family justice centers like The Umbrella Center are a tested national model that improves victim survival, reduces rates of violence and homicide, and is recognized as a national best practice by the Department of Justice. The establishment of The Umbrella Center is a step towards mitigating the annual economic impact of domestic violence, which includes substantial healthcare and criminal justice expenses in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

By investing in The Umbrella Center, WellCare and the Centene Foundation further their commitment to providing healthcare access to those affected by domestic violence and abuse, ensuring a safer and healthier future for the Charlotte community.


View Partnerships >