Domestic Violence Services breaks ground for new shelter

Apr 03, 2013
Photo by: Pat Ratliff Local dignitaries and members of the Domestic Violence Services break ground Tuesday on what will soon be a 52-bed shelter in north Everett. Pictured are, from left: Gail Nunn; Vicci Hilty, Executive Director DVS; Adam Ballout; Robin Reinig, DVS Board Chair; Jeff Olsen; Bernie Terry; Pete Grodt; Jane Pauly; Sonya Kraski, Snohomish County Clerk; and Stephanie Wright, Snohomish County Council. All are current DVS board members.

Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County broke ground Tuesday on what will be a 52-bed confidential shelter, service center and children’s activity center.

The Oswald Army Reserve Center in north Everett has been surplussed by the Department of Defense and obtained by Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County for $1.

Remodeling begins immediately, with expected move-in to the 3.1-acres site in the fall of 2013.

The remodel and construction on the property will dramatically increase the number of people Domestic Services can serve.

DVS will begin the remodel of three existing buildings to house the agency Service Center, a 60-bed confidential shelter, and children’s center. Twenty units of transitional housing are planned for phase II.

The need for more housing is dramatic. For instance, with the opening of the new center, the number of people sheltered in a year will jump from 220 to 600.

Children served will increase from 260 to 1,000.

Legal advocacy clients will increase from 1,394 to 3,000, and the number of people turned away from the shelter for lack of space will decrease from 870 families to 500.

Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson stressed the need.

“I wish we didn’t need a facility like this,” he said. “But the number one reason for homelessness is domestic violence.”

Stephanson said when the surplus building became available, he knew Domestic Violence Services was the group for the property.

Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, also exclaimed his full support of Domestic Violence Services. In fact, he is working on a number of issues now in support of DVS.

“My goal this year is to help break down the barriers for some people to even participate,” he said. “Victims may be too afraid to even seek protection.

“That’s why facilities like this are so important.”

But the need is outpacing capacity. A capital campaign is underway to develop the larger emergency shelter, new and expanded community programs and administrative space.

While plans are still being developed, DVS anticipates that over the next two years they will need to raise $4.1 million to $7.1 million to expand their shelter to serve up to 60 adults and children daily, double their community program capacity, and own their service center, ensuring that operating funds go directly toward crisis services.

For more information on the sanctuary or the campaign go to: http://www.dvs-snoco.org/capital-campaign.

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