The Columbus Alliance for Battered Women, Inc. was organized as a non-profit corporation in January 1979. The Alliance grew out of a group of concerned citizens, organizations and community leaders who recognized that spouse abuse was a serious community problem. Two of the most critical needs were temporary shelter for women and children who had no refuge or escape from the explosive environment of a violent home and for appropriate and accessible counseling to deal with the trauma. The Alliance sought to develop and build upon a network of helping professionals and community groups so as to improve the delivery of services to victims and offenders and to decrease the chances of recurring domestic violence.
Over the preceding summer of 1978, a law student working through the Law Students Civil Rights Research Council was placed in the Columbus Regional Office of the Georgia Legal Services Program. This law student, Leah Sear-Collins, undertook a project to assess the problem of spouse abuse in the Columbus area and to help mobilize local resources to increase awareness and address the problem. Through her efforts and those of others in the community, the Columbus Alliance for Battered Women began to organize so as to continue her work.
In 1981, The Alliance began providing temporary shelter for women and children. Shelter was provided through Open Door Community Center, Valley Rescue Mission, Salvation Army, and in four private homes. Finally pledges from local churches enabled the Alliance to rent its own facility. In May 1983, the local United Way began helping with shelter operations, and a full time director was hired.
The name Hope Harbour was added in 2005. The current shelter has 43 beds and has been in the current, undisclosed location for over 30 years.