By: LSS CHOICES for Victims of Domestic Violence
For nearly four decades, LSS CHOICES for Victims of Domestic Violence (CHOICES) has been providing a safe, secure shelter for victims of domestic violence in central Ohio. Regrettably, the demand for sheltering of victims of domestic abuse in Franklin County has increased, and CHOICES’ resources have been stretched thin. Meeting this increasing need, while ensuring the safety of victims in a respectful, secure manner, requires an innovative approach to domestic violence sheltering.
CHOICES’ hotline calls and the number of victims brought into the shelter continue to rise each year. The current shelter has 51 beds. Recently, more than 100 victims and children were housed in the current shelter at one time, sleeping on cots and mats on the floor. No one seeking shelter in a crisis situation is ever turned away. That’s why we are building a new shelter for victims of domestic violence and their families. A new shelter will provide a healing environment with increased capacity and security.
The new shelter will increase the number of beds from 51 to 120. It will have a neighborhood feel with private bedrooms, bathrooms and a sitting room in each neighborhood. There will be several communal areas and counseling rooms, as well as space for youth programs and a secure outdoor playground and garden. The shelter will also have kennels and exercise areas for pets.
To build this building we need to raise $18.3 million. This will cover construction costs, land acquisition, three years of operating and new programming costs and a building maintenance fund. An endowment also will be established to help secure the future of CHOICES and support the community’s immediate and emerging needs related to serving domestic violence victims. Thanks to many community partners including Huntington, we’ve raised about $15.6 million, but we are not yet at goal. We need your help!
Domestic violence is a community issue. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience it during their lifetime. This means we all know someone who has been abused either physically, emotionally, psychologically or financially. You can make a difference in the lives of victims here in Franklin County by supporting the campaign to build a new shelter that will be able to house all who come seeking safety from an abuser.
Click here to learn more and donate to LSS CHOICES Our Community’s Campaign.