This month marks the one-year anniversary of the opening of a brand new shelter for native victims of home or sexual violence.
The residential property, referred to as the PPC Violence Free Community Shelter, is a two-story constructing positioned on a tract that previously housed the Franklin Hospital.
The $1.5 million shelter, in a position to serve greater than 21 victims, is a part of the not-for-profit Household Service and Kids’s Help Society community.
Whereas the ability now could be a brief residence for 3 adults and a toddler, a quantity significantly decrease than the occupancy price permits, it was a busy place over many of the earlier 12 months. Up to now 12 months, the shelter has housed about 53 adults and 18 youngsters.
The momentary tenant price has tapered off considerably, although, due to the influence of the coronavirus pandemic, mentioned Mary Okay. Serafin, govt director of the Oil Metropolis-based Household Service company.
“There was no consistency within the occupancy price and, behind my thoughts, I believe it has to do with the virus,” she mentioned. “We perceive how people can be apprehensive about relocating however we’re prepared and we are able to shield in opposition to the COVID. We constructed this, with seven bedrooms, to allow them to have their very own area. There’s that concern, plus individuals might have thought we closed and weren’t open.”
Along with the concern issue, pandemic-related directives that prompted dramatic restrictions at hospitals and different well being services in addition to scaled-back judicial and legislation enforcement actions reduce referrals to the company.
“When COVID hit, all the things stopped – the courts, the hospitals, the authorized system – and all that impacts how we obtain referrals,” mentioned Serafin.
That very same development is showing throughout the state, mentioned Megan O’Neil, program director for the PPC community and shelter.
What had been worries that the pandemic, a state of affairs that created crowded residing area with adults working at residence and kids out of college, might spur home violence conditions, didn’t translate into extra requests for shelter.
“Statewide, companies have been seeing a lower within the numbers whereas they have been considering there can be a spike,” mentioned O’Neil. “However we all know home violence has not gone away. Now we have counseling companies and a hotline and we all know it’s occurring by means of these calls. And, only recently, we’re seeing a slight enhance in shelter wants. And a gentle enhance, too, in requests for companies.”
All companies proceed
Because the company has modified its companies to adapt to pandemic directives, similar to ramping up its tele-health companies with counselors, it continues to offer quite a lot of help to victims of home and sexual violence.
“We’re greater than a shelter,” mentioned O’Neil. “All our companies, out there 24-hours and 365 days a 12 months, are ongoing. That hasn’t modified. We have simply made diversifications.”
In the meantime, the Household Service and Kids’s Help Society is working to lift cash to pay the total price of the brand new shelter.
“We have raised many of the cash however nonetheless want about $50,000 extra. Then it is free and clear,” mentioned Serafin.
The PPC Violence Free Community gives a full vary of sufferer companies. All companies are free and confidential to anybody affected by home or sexual violence, critical crimes, stalking and harassment.
“We’re right here, shelter and all the things else,” mentioned O’Neil. “You simply have to name us.”