KCSDV Coalition Member Program Update: The Willow Domestic Violence Center is Growing Forward

Capacity limits, COVID-19 distancing needs, and flood damage to the first shelter prompted The Willow Domestic Violence Center (The Willow) in Lawrence to pursue purchasing a second shelter. The second shelter building ownership was officially transferred to The Willow on August 27, 2020. The new shelter adds 16 beds to The Willow’s existing 28 beds in the first shelter.

The Willow’s Executive Director Megan Stuke explains that due to COVID-19 distancing precautions, non-related people cannot stay in the same room. The additional eight rooms in the new shelter that will house two beds each is an especially welcome addition to services available for those in crisis in Douglas, Franklin, and Jefferson counties at this time. The Willow expects that the new shelter will be ready for use this fall.

The image shows a person with their baby, the Growing Forward capital campaign logo, and text that reads, "A new shelter means new hope." The image also has the URL where people can go online to donate to The Willow. The image is by The Willow.
The image shows a person with their baby, the Growing Forward capital campaign logo, and text that reads, "A new shelter means new hope." The image also has the URL where people can go online to donate to The Willow. The image is by The Willow.

To pay for the new shelter and to support needed repairs and updates to the first shelter, The Willow launched the capital campaign Growing Forward in March 2020. The goal is to raise $700,000. Around $550,000 has been raised. The Willow is still seeking $150,000 in donations to achieve the capital campaign goal.

The new space increases The Willow’s residential services capacity by moving away from a maximum 30-day emergency stay for victims to a maximum 90-day stay for victims. Research shows that increasing the length of stay greatly increases the ability of survivors to successfully escape abusive situations. In many instances, survivors need to replace personal documents, find employment, arrange for transportation or childcare, and secure affordable housing. The 90-day stay allows for trauma-informed case management and the time survivors and their families need to stabilize and have long term success.

The image shows a person's face and text that is a domestic violence fact. The image is by NCADV.
The image shows a person's face and text that is a domestic violence fact. The image is by NCADV.

“Our current shelter is always at capacity,” Executive Director Megan Stuke said. “The Willow has to grow forward so that we can effectively support individuals as they transform their lives.”

People can donate to The Willow’s capital campaign at http://www.willowdvcenter.org/donate.

Newsletter PDF

This project was supported by Grant No. 2019-MU-AX-0021 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

Media Contact

Lucca Wang, Communications Coordinator

lwang@kcsdv.org
Office: 785-232-9784
Mobile: 785-633-6648

KANSAS CRISIS HOTLINE: 888-END-ABUSE | 888-363-2287