City Announces First Expansion of Domestic Violence Shelters

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - BusinessDetails for an expansion in the number of domestic violence shelters in Chicago were announced on Wednesday during a press conference with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and members of the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS). The new domestic violence shelter will be located in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood and will be among the few shelters in the nation to feature an innovative suite-based design that will provide victims with additional privacy and comfort.

The new shelter will be built by a partnership that includes Women in Need Growing Stronger (WINGS), Metropolitan Family Services, and the Greater Southwest Development Corporation, and will serve as many as 100 families in its first full year of operation. The shelter, to be named “WINGS Metro,” will increase the number of available beds in the City of Chicago by almost 36 percent.

The new shelter is scheduled to open in June 2014 and will be located on the city’s Southwest Side in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood. At least ten permanent housing units will be built on-site to provide necessary affordable housing when victims are ready to leave the shelter. “Today’s announcement is the direct result of the Mayor’s ongoing commitment to assisting victims of domestic violence and their families. The new shelter design and programs will allow DFSS to serve the Chicago community, said DFSS Commissioner Evelyn Diaz.

“This shelter and housing program, using an innovative model and working with local experts, promises to be a welcome relief to survivors in Chicago,” said Kim Gandy, President and CEO of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. The construction of the shelter will cost $4.2 million dollars. The City of Chicago will contribute $1.8 million to this project that was generated by the settlement funds from the City’s lawsuit against the VIP Gentleman’s Club. The City will also donate $500,000 worth of vacant city land to the project to house the development.

It is essential that every Chicagoan actively seeks to end domestic abuse of all types in the city. To report domestic abuse, call 9-1-1. For more information and support, anyone can call the domestic violence help line at 877-863-6338.

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