HAVEN, Oakland County’s center for the treatment and prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault, today opened it new $8 million facility in Pontiac.
Completed in 18 months, the new 36,000 square foot facility was built on 6 acres of land and houses all of HAVEN programs, bringing together three locations under one roof. With the new facility also comes a new service model — a modified Family Justice Center, the first of its kind in Michigan.
“We made two very important decisions early in our planning, the first was to refine our process so that our work could be as effective as possible and the second was to no longer keep our location a secret,” says Beth Morrison, president and CEO, HAVEN. “Not being secret brings the issues out in the open. It helps survivors feel that they’re not alone and helps the community understand the impact of our efforts.”
Now in its 41st year of supporting and empowering survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, HAVEN leadership began planning the move eight years ago while working on the organization’s master plan. Morrison says a hand-selected team researched and reviewed community needs, future trends and best practices and the determination was made to build a new facility.
The new building includes a secure Residential Program, which has 16 bedrooms — one more than the former location — and can house up to 60 people at once depending on the makeup of the residents (i.e. single person, family with children). Each room has own its bathroom except four of them, which have shared Jack and Jill bathrooms.
New additions inside include: space for a staffed client resource room, onsite job training, leadership center, residential storage lockers, and a multipurpose room that can be screened off to create two large meeting rooms. Outside spaces include a meditation garden, an expanded organic produce garden, an extensive playground area and an area that will be the site of a pet shelter opening this summer.
HAVEN is still accepting donations for the facility and has launched a leaf campaign for recognizing individual contributions from $250 – $9,999.
“Although HAVEN staff has worked relentlessly for 41 years to bring an end to domestic and sexual violence, it remains a reality for many,” Morrison says. “Our new building makes a statement. We are here. And we are not going anywhere until the crimes of domestic and sexual violence no longer impact our community.”