This Funder Knows That Space Matters In the Face of Domestic and Sexual Violence

Mid-Valley Women’s Crisis Service in Salem, Oregon, is changing things up in big ways. Along with new digs, it's also getting a new name: The Center for Hope & Safety. The newly rebranded nonprofit is getting help from the Meyer Memorial Trust, among other community partners, to build a new and larger center. With $150,000 from the Meyer Memorial Trust to buy and renovate a new space, this nonprofit will be able to better service survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

The center runs support groups with child care in the community, but was finding that it had to turn people away due to lack of space. It will now have quadruple the space as the old building with workstations for survivors as well as a large training room.  

The new space will make it easier to collaborate with community partners like law enforcement when it's working with survivors. It is also going to have a teen center which will provide support groups for young adults.

These advances underscore an important point we make often here at IP: Facilities matter, and funders can make a big difference by giving generously for capital projects. Of course, that's particularly true in regard to direct service organizations and, it goes without saying, is pivotal for any nonprofit that specifically aims to provide a safe and supportive space where its clients can find services. 

Ending violent relationships can be complicated and often involves addressing a number of different issues. The Center for Hope & Safety’s Director, Jayne Downing, points out that it’s often not as simple as just “getting out” or filing a restraining order. Victims often need help resolving legal, housing and financial issues as well as addressing trauma and beginning the work of recovery.

With a new, larger space, the Center for Hope & Safety can provide better confidentiality for clients and can become more of a focal point for treatment and prevention. It can also provide space and tools for survivors who want to move out of abusive relationships and move on to the next chapter in their lives.