by Free Speech on July 19, 2010

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

Hope House of South Central Wisconsin, Inc. purchased the former Magdalene Home building at 720 Ash Street in Baraboo in May 2010.  They are in the process of evaluating the building and deciding on the major renovations needed to meet the needs of the organization.

Hope House provides shelter, advocacy, and education to people affected by domestic violence and sexual assault in Sauk, Columbia, Juneau, Adams and Marquette counties.  Each year Hope House provides free services to nearly 1000 individuals and families.

Since 1987, Hope House has been in its current shelter location in Baraboo.  The five-bedroom home has been challenging as families have had to share bedrooms, and the dining and living room spaces are not large enough to accommodate multiple families.  When individuals and families arrive at shelter in varying states of trauma and crisis, this lack of space makes communal living more stressful and problematic.  The administrative offices also have been at a separate location for many years making it difficult for staff to transition between the office and the shelter and making it more costly to pay for both buildings.

This year, Hope House’s Board of Directors voted to obtain a permanent home for the shelter and office.  It will be a welcome change to have all the staff under the same roof providing better services to our shelter residents.  The larger building allows families to have their own bedrooms and for all residents to be in the dining and living room areas.  Additionally, it will create a community presence that will increase support for Hope House’s services.

Hope House gave careful consideration to changing its shelter location status from confidential to public.  They talked with law enforcement, other shelter programs that are a disclosed location, and most importantly, survivors.  “There can be a benefit to a domestic violence shelter becoming public versus remaining confidential,” said Patti Seger, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WCADV). “While many have always felt that shelters should remain in confidential locations, the experience of the shelters that have gone public has taught us that it breaks the silence and secrecy for many victims and that communities invest even greater support in maintaining the safety of the shelter residents.  It is up to each community to choose which format works best for them, but we have learned that this can be a very positive move for domestic violence survivors.”

Follow the progress of Hope House’s move and ways you can help on the organization website at www.hopehousescw.org.

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