WIN Seeks Money For Domestic Violence Shelter
Hoping to raise at least $1 million here in Fulton County for the construction of a new, all-in-one domestic violence shelter and advocacy center, fundraising efforts got under way last Wednesday with a capital kickoff campaign by Women In Need officials and local dignitaries.
WIN Executive Director Barb Channing told a crowd of around two dozen the organization has been in existence since the mid-1970s with the purpose of serving victims of domestic violence in Fulton and Franklin counties. In addition to its shelter program, WIN also offers an array of services to local residents: counseling, a hotline, support groups, protectionfrom abuse orders, legal advocacy and education of students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade.
Channing noted an important tool in helping stop the spread of abuse, educational efforts are often geared toward building healthy relationships. Last year in Fulton County, 94 school programs were offered in addition to providing 1,696 hours of counseling and advocacy to 311 domestic violence victims and their children.
Eric Williams, Fulton County WIN services manager, pointed out the existing shelter in Chambersburg Borough is not only narrow but also fails to comply with Americans With Disabilities Act regulations and provide privacy for inhabitants. The combined dining kitchen, laundry and living rooms serve as shared communal space. Shelter plans call for two sitting rooms for every three bedrooms available, said Williams, who added common areas would be in separate rooms.
Furthermore, with 24 office staff spread out over two other rental locations, WIN officials hope the new facility will result in a merger of the shelter with office locations and staff, thereby providing one convenient location.
Williams stated security continues to be “problematic.” Therefore, security enhancements tentatively planned for the new, “green” facility are an enclosed courtyard, a two-vehicle garage, cameras and more lighting in the parking area.
In 2010,16 area women and 11 children utilized the current shelter, which can “comfortably” house 12 individuals. The increased space outlined through the new shelter’s blueprints indicate 24 individuals will be able to use the 11,000-square-foot shelter and advocacy center at one time. The average length of a stay at the shelter is 30 days, but extensions can be granted.
McConnellsburg resident D. Andy Washabaugh briefly took the floor as honorary chair of the fundraising campaign committee. Washabaugh stated he would like to see Fulton County and her people step up and donate $1 million toward the much-needed $3.35 million. Groundbreaking will only occur once half the funding is raised.
“We can join up with Franklin County and get this done,” added Washabaugh. “We can make this fly.”
Hearing Washabaugh’s plea, campaign co-chair Dwight Harvey stepped forward with two checks totalling $6,000. On hand for acknowledgement was local businesswoman Helen Overly, who donated $5,000, and Kim Sheeder. Sheeder represented Great Cove Golf’s 10-member women’s club, which rallied to raise $1,000.
“It’s a lot of money, but there’s a woman at some point, somewhere, who will be hurt, scared and confused. This will provide her a safe place to go and give her time to make decisions on the future of her life,” said Harvey. Dr. Gloria Walker, campaign co-chair, and steering committee member Mary Lou Eisenhower also spoke to those on hand on June 8.
All donations to WIN’s shelter project are tax-deductible and can be made “in honor” or “in memory” of a friend or family member. A five-year pledge period has been established to meet all donor needs. Donations can be sent to Women In Need, Confidential: Capital Campaign, PO Box 25, Chambersburg, PA 17201.
More information on WIN can be obtained online at www.winservices.org or by calling 717-264-3056.