Giving back in a big way

Monday was a special day for Minot, the Domestic Violence Crisis Center and the Minot Area Community Foundation, said Ken Kitzman, president of the Minot Area Community Foundation, at a grant presentation at the Domestic Violence Crisis Center’s New Beginnings Campus.

The campus is located at 3900-11th Ave. S.E., across from Minot Head Start. Kitzman, along with representatives from the Domestic Violence Crisis Center and other members of the community attended the event.

The Minot Area Community Foundation awarded $460,000 to the Domestic Violence Crisis Center as part of the ongoing effort to rebuild the region following the 2011 flood. This grant marks the largest one-time distribution from the foundation since its inception in 2000. The funds will help replace a DVCC transitional living four-plex that was decimated by the 2011 Souris River flood.

“It took a lot of people to pull this off and it’s a big need and it will be met,” said Kitzman in his address to those who gathered for the celebration. “Today is a milestone of where they’ve (the DVCC) come since the flood.”

Following the flood, local donations to assist the community were channeled through the Minot Area Community Foundation, according to a news release provided. Over the past two years, the foundation reinvested more than $5.8 million back into the community to help directly with rebuilding efforts. Nearly $4.4 million in assistance has gone directly to 2,498 flooded homeowners. The Minot Area Rebuilding Fund is now in place to help the community with long-term flood recovery projects.

The Domestic Violence Crisis Center is one such organization that has been helped by the Minot Area Community Foundation and the atmosphere was full of smiles and thank you’s at Monday’s event. Dena Filler, executive director of the DVCC, offered a round of thanks to Kitzman and everyone from the foundation who helped make the additional four-plex a dream come true. Receiving the grant from the foundation for the DVCC’s second transitional living unit provides a wonderful start for those in need of help and services provided by the center.

“This is truly wonderful for us,” exclaimed Filler.

The Domestic Violence Crisis Center has a mission of empowering victims of domestic violence and sexual assault by providing a full range of services and support that encourages personal growth and inclusion in all aspects of community life. The center has seen an increase in the number of clients over the past five years, Filler said. In 2007, the DVCC was contacted by 1,134 clients and in 2012 was contacted by 2,263 clients, she noted. In five years, that’s more than a thousand more people served by the center.

One woman in attendance, Ruth, who did not provide her last name, was a former victim of domestic violence and told people in attendance what the Domestic Violence Crisis Center meant to her. The center meant safety, security and seclusion, she said, and gave her the encouragement to be who she is meant to be. The DVCC staff gave her enlightenment, Ruth continued, and were there unconditionally for her. They helped her regain the life skills she needed to become independent, she also said. “I can’t thank them enough. This is a very worthy cause.”

“Domestic violence exists and we need to deal with it,” Kitzman added in his address.