Progress continues on new shelter

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Work is well underway on the new S.A.V.E. Shelter which will provide a safe place for the victims of domestic violence and their children to stay.

"We hope to open March 1," said S.A.V.E. Coordinator Lisa Baird. "The shower room has to be completed and the security fence has to be erected, but both of those projects are underway."

The recent cold weather hasn't slowed down the work on the new facility.

Baird has already relocated her office to the new center and is working to get the facility up and running.

A pre-Christmas drive has paid off in equipment and furnishings for the new shelter, she said.

"We can always use furniture. Even if we have all we need for the center, we still need to help our clients who in most cases have nothing," Baird said.

"Money is always a good thing. We've got to meet our budget and overhead for electricity and heating," she said.
Covering the first year's costs will be tough because start-up efforts are not usually eligible for federal and state grants.

Computers are also needed for the center's education room. In many cases, S.A.V.E.'s clients don't have a high school degree and need to earn a GED. Their children also can use a computer to get caught up on classroom work.

An anonymous benefactor made the new center possible. He made the presentation in honor of his late wife.
"I don't think he realizes the magnitude of what he's done," Baird said. "It was such a shock and such a blessing."
Baird has been working long and hard to get S.A.V.E. established in Cannon County. She joined the agency on July 1, 2008.

In most cases the victims of domestic violence have children and no car, no income. They don't have a place to go, so many of them are homeless. If they do leave, they will be hounded by their spouse.

"When a victim walks out that door their chance of dying increases to 75 percent," Baird said.
Those wishing to help the new center can call 464-5555.

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