Leaders from Laurel House recently hosted a virtual groundbreaking ceremony to mark the renovations on the three-story building that will serve as Laurel House’s new Safe Haven Center.
This space will combine Montgomery County’s only domestic violence emergency shelter with many of the other supportive services that Laurel House currently offers. This new building provide much-needed enhancements in design, security, and amenities, as well as increased capacity and accessibility.
Laurel House, which officially opened its doors in 1980, is Montgomery County’s only domestic violence shelter provider, and offers a comprehensive list of individualized, supportive services including a 24-hour hotline, immediate crisis intervention, counseling, medical and legal advocacy, a children’s program, community training and prevention education.
Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, commented, “Laurel House continues to stand as a beacon of hope for the hundreds of families right here in Montgomery County that are struggling with domestic violence, during this already very challenging time.”
She sighted the nearly 85% increase in domestic violence victims seeking crisis response during this pandemic.
She also thanked the Upper Gwynedd Board of Commissioners and the surrounding neighbors for welcoming this project.
Senator Maria Collett addressed the topic of domestic violence itself. “As a Senator, I am committed to using my platform to fight for individuals and families impacted by domestic violence. It is critical that we continue to shine a light on these issues and lend support to organizations like Laurel House and the families they serve.”
Director of Montgomery County’s Health and Human Services, Tara Gaudin, shared how domestic violence impacts not just one person or family, but rather the entire community.
“Laurel House has long recognized that being and feeling safe, and being free from violence is critical for the individuals and families that they serve. It’s absolutely critical for our community’s overall health and well-being,” said Gaudin.
The Capital Campaign supporting the Safe Haven Center, with great momentum, has now secured almost two-thirds of the needed funding for this project but is still seeking donors.
Didi Scott, Chair of the Laurel House Capital Campaign commented, “Laurel House is grateful for its many donors who have supported this project. Without them, this new facility would not be possible.”
In 2019, 112 victims lost their lives to domestic violence in Pennsylvania, 8 of them in Montgomery County. During just one 24-hour period (September 12, 2019), Pennsylvania’s domestic violence programs provided services to 2,630 victims.
For more information about this capital campaign, the Safe Haven Center, or the supportive services offered at Laurel House please visit here.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, please contact Laurel House’s toll-free 24-hour hotline at 1-800-642-3150.