Montana Senator Steve Daines toured the new YWCA shelter under construction on South Third Street West called ‘The Meadowlark’ on Friday, that is being built with innovative financing called New Market Tax Credits.
At the site headed up by Sirius Construction, YWCA Executive Director Cindy Weese outlined the purpose of the $12 million facility.
“For 20 years the YWCA has operated a domestic violence shelter out of a seven bedroom three bath house in a residential neighborhood where we serve hundreds of women and children each year,” said Weese. “It is clear and has been for over 10 years that that house is simply too small for us to provide dignified services for survivors. Some come to the shelter in the middle of the night with little more than the clothes on their back like Helen, someone we served who was a 72 year old woman who decided after being married to her abusive husband for many, many years that she had to leave because he continued to be threatening and degrading to her even after she’d had a stroke.”
It is clear and has been for over 10 years that that house is simply too small for us to provide dignified services for survivors. Some come to the shelter in the middle of the night with little more than the clothes on their back.
Weese said the new state of the art facility will open a whole new world for those suffering from domestic violence and abuse.
“But once The Meadowlark opens, we will relocate that domestic violence shelter here and we will be able to offer a full spectrum of trauma informed services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking,” she said. “The shelter can be transformative. It will include 13 family sized rooms, double our current capacity and allow us to serve both female and male survivors of domestic violence on site.”
Weese said the new facility will serve many needs in the Missoula and western Montana community.
“After a multi year planning process, we adopted a vision for this project, and that is that whenever a family loses housing or an individual suffers domestic violence in our community, we will provide safe shelter that night and then the support they need to find homes of their own and live lives free of violence,” she said.
Daines toured the facility to show his support of permanently extending the tax credit, which is currently set to expire at the end of 2020.