Healing with housing: Domestic Violence Crisis Center furnishes two new complexes

Employees from I. Keating Furniture World carried in furniture to the first of the Domestic Violence Crisis Center’s new four-plex transitional living apartments on Friday.

“Today is an exciting day,” said Dena Filler, executive director of the Minot Domestic Violence Crisis Center.

The four-plex, the first of two that will be constructed on the site at 3900-11th Ave. SE, will replace transitional housing that was lost in the flood of 2011. The apartments should open in mid-April. Filler said ground will be broken in May for the second four-plex and it will take several months to complete. It is called the New Beginnings Campus, while the house is called Pauline’s House, after Pauline Howard.

The four-plexes are being built thanks to grants from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation and Otto Bremer Foundation, and from sales of the flood-damaged properties and the DVCC’s old building. Other community donations have also helped the domestic violence crisis center set up the building.

Sponsors include: I. Keating Furniture World employees; Congregational United Church of Christ; Thompson-Larson Funeral Home; Minot Lions; Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church; Knights of Columbus 4894; Paula Streitz, in memory of Richard and Deloris Brown; Jerry Kaup; Richard Schall; groups calling themselves “In the Name of Love” and the “Retired Bell School Coffee Klatch;” and several anonymous donors.

The DVCC office is also located on-site. Eventually the board hopes to move the DVCC shelter there as well, said Filler.

Video cameras will be installed on site for security and, when the shelter is moved there, there will be 24-hour security.

Filler said the new four-plex is badly needed. The number of domestic violence calls in Minot has been increasing. The DVCC had 2,263 contacts with abuse victims in 2012, up from 1,865 in 2011. Filler said some people have been able to stay for extended periods at the shelter, but it is a difficult situation and she suspects some people are staying in abusive situations or returning to them because of the lack of affordable housing in the area.

The shelter offers services for Ward, McHenry, Pierce and Renville counties. Services include a 24-hour crisis line, a 24-hour emergency shelter, crisis intervention services, support groups for domestic violence and sexual assault, children’s programs including group programs, information and referrals, rural outreach programs, advocacy through the protection order process, emergency food and housing, transitional housing, public education on domestic and sexual assault and education and training for professionals on domestic violence and sexual assault.