Polk County’s only domestic violence shelter to expand soon
BOLIVAR, Missouri – For some time now, Polk County’s only domestic violence shelter hasn’t had enough space to help some victims and their children. Polk County House of Hope deputy executive director Danielle Ward remembers turning down a family not so long ago.
“A mother and five children,” Ward said. “But we didn’t have enough beds. We had a few who were available but not enough to help her and the children. Of course, we provide resources and alternatives and hope they can find another place to go. Otherwise, there is always the option of putting them in a hotel for a day or two. But it stinks when you can’t give them a safe place or a bed to sleep in.
Fortunately, OzarksFirst has learned that this situation will improve soon. Ward’s Refuge recently purchased two much larger buildings. He will move to what was once a dormitory and theater at Southwest Baptist University.
“It’s going to allow us to help and reach a lot more victims,” Ward said. “We have a 24/7 hotline. It will be much easier to provide support to customers in this environment. Right now we are in such a small space.
The Polk County House of Hope will eventually grow from 18 beds to 60 to 90. When the renovations are complete, there will be dormitories, space for advocates to help victims, a cafeteria-style kitchen, and a hall. media with a few computers and a television. These improvements, along with the buildings, will cost the nonprofit approximately $ 1 million.
Ward says the move was a big transition.
“It’s a difficult transition because, like everyone else, we are struggling to increase the number of employees to meet this new need,” Ward said. “On top of that, we have so many tasks going on at the same time. Our supplies for the new windows are not arriving as quickly as we would like and on top of that, we just need to find the volunteers to do the job. It’s just a difficult mix of things. A balance that we must try to find.
She is also a little concerned about the possibility of getting an overflow of referrals from other shelters in need.
“I feel like it won’t take long for us to end up using all of the new space,” Ward said. “It’s not a good thing either because we are talking about domestic violence. Every time there is a new resource, it increases the number of referrals you get. I think this will translate into the use of bed space for sure.
Either way, Ward says she would love to see the new shelter open before this winter.
The Polk County House of Hope will hold its annual “Hope Ball” in Springfield in October at The Old Glass Place. 300 tickets will be sold, starting at $ 60 per ticket. To register click here. For more ways to help, visit this website.