YWCA breaks ground on new domestic violence safe house

| November 2, 2017
Rams Head

The YWCA was joined on October 5th by over 125 guests including First Lady Yumi Hogan, Senator John Astle, Speaker Michael Busch, Delegate Pamela Beidle, GOCCP Executive Director Glenn Fueston, the YWCA Board of Directors, YWCA Team members, donors, community partners, and the design/construction teams. The ceremony took place at the organization’s undisclosed location in Anne Arundel County and included comments from the First Lady and presentation of a congratulatory citation from the Anne Arundel County Delegation followed by an outdoor reception.

YWCA CEO, Molly Knipe, spoke to the audience about the impact of the project and the significance of the support provided by Governor Hogan, the State of Maryland, the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, the County Executive’s Office, the Local Development Council, and countless individuals who have made the project a reality. “We know that 1 in 4 women will be affected by domestic violence and, having outgrown our existing shelter, we found this expansion to be imperative. We are indebted to our elected officials and donors that share our passion for the mission; together we are changing lives and breaking the cycle of domestic violence”.

 

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The new residence will double the capacity of the existing shelter and allow for thirty-two (32) clients to reside onsite with 24-hour staff coverage. Included in the residence is a 24-hour hotline, case management resources, eight (8) residential suites for individuals and families, playroom/playground, psychological consult space, community spaces, and reflection garden. In addition, the YWCA is renovating an existing home on the campus to be utilized as an education space/classroom and wellness studio. Construction will begin in October and the new facility is scheduled to open in February 2019.

“Survivors of domestic violence often experience economic challenges which can have a devastating and lasting impact on their ability to recover, leave an abusive situation, or achieve financial independence. Together, we must work to empower all victims and ensure that they have the tools and the skills they need to break the cycle of abuse and violence,” said First Lady Yumi Hogan. “This new residence will double the capacity of the existing shelter to help address the immediate needs of even more Marylanders. This will provide safe and secure housing, support groups and counseling, help finding employment, and much more. This is a very important project and one more way that we truly are changing Maryland for the better together.”

Senator John Astle, a long time advocate of the YWCA, shared his experience in working with the YWCA through the vision and securing the funds, going on to say, “The YWCA has been an incredible partner in our community for ensuring the safety of those who are most vulnerable. We have worked together to see this project come to fruition and I am so pleased to know that there will be increased opportunity for survivors to regain their independence.

I am grateful to our staff and all those who have supported the YWCA to create this new campus. We share in the YWCA’s focus to create safety for those at risk and this facility will ensure victims are not turned away.”, said Speaker Michael Busch as he discussed the project, expansion of services, and why the YWCA’s new shelter is integral to the community.

Delegate Pamela Beidle presented Ms. Knipe with a formal citation and congratulated the YWCA in the advances made as she said, “this project is the result of many years of hard work and cooperation of the YWCA, the State government, and County government. I am delighted to see this project come to fruition; it has been my pleasure to be a small part of this project that will benefit the victims of domestic violence.”

The YWCA began the Fresh Starts Campaign in 2015 to establish funding for the design and construction of a campus specifically to support domestic violence survivors. The campaign has secured $4.4M in gifts and pledges. The new shelter will consist of almost 10,000 sf of living/program space including bedrooms, family suites, 24-hour emergency hotline, YWCA residential-team offices, and therapy/consult space. Additionally, the campus includes a Training & Education building to assist with employment skill building, counseling support groups, wellness seminars, and outreach initiatives.

The YWCA is Anne Arundel County’s Comprehensive Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault crisis intervention service provider. Established in 1920, the 501c3 organization operates Anne Arundel County’s only domestic violence safe house shelter (Arden House) while providing licensed therapists, attorneys to support in peace and protective orders, legal advocates, case managers, 24-hour crisis hotline, hospital accompaniment, abuser intervention, and community education/outreach initiatives. With 35 staff members and an additional 5000 volunteer hours, the YWCA serves almost 10,000 people annually. All services are provided on a sliding fee scale to ensure the needs of all community members can be met.

For more information regarding YWCA services www.annapolisywca.org or 410.626.7800. We can also be found on Facebook. If you are in crisis, please call the YWCA’s 24-hour hotline 410.222.6800. If an emergency, call 911.

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