GALLATIN COUNTY — The nonprofit, Haven, has been serving the Gallatin County since 1979. But unfortunately, their current shelter was built near that time also.
And the organization believes it's time for an upgrade.
“Our current shelter is confidential and it is a single-family home. So, it is housing 12 people maximum, which the need in the Gallatin Valley is larger than that," explained Meghan Lockner with Haven.
The current shelter is very limited in its capacity of who it can serve. But the new shelter has the potential to eliminate many of those restrictions.
“Having more capacity. We also are wanting to be able to house male-identifying survivors and all genders, as well as pets. A lot of survivors want to take their pets with them to heal, which is very common and we also know that pets are most likely also being abused in the home,” she said.
The new shelter costs $8 million, of which Haven has 68 percent already. But the nonprofit is asking for community support to secure that last 32 percent.
“We are offering a couple different options. So, right now just general donations to the capital campaign, and we are also selling bricks. So, if people want to leave a legacy at that shelter or leave their name or leave in honor of or in memory in someone else they’re able to buy a full brick for $1,000 or a half of brick for $500,” she explained.
Which is priceless for the survivors who will use the new facility.
“It’s incredibly important as we want to be offering a space that survivors can heal, that they know they can go to. No longer are survivors going to be in hiding. They are able to end the silence and end the stigma around domestic violence, and we want to tell the community that survivors are here and we want to support them. We want to bring them back to the community, and we’re not going to be in hiding anymore,” Lockner said.
The shelter hopes to break ground by the spring of next year. For more information or to donate, visit here.