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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Supporters: Justice center can be done

Supporters: Justice center can be done

Shelter From the Storm Executive Director Teresa Crouser, left, and Fiscal Manager Laura Morgan listen Thursday night as town hall audience members ask questions. The shelter and concerned citizens propose construction of a multi-phased family justice center as an alternative to demolishing the Shelter From the Storm advocacy building in order to site a new courthouse. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
Shelter From the Storm Executive Director Teresa Crouser, left, and Fiscal Manager Laura Morgan listen Thursday night as town hall audience members ask questions. The shelter and concerned citizens propose construction of a multi-phased family justice center as an alternative to demolishing the Shelter From the Storm advocacy building in order to site a new courthouse. (Cherise Kaechele/The Observer)
Concerned Union County residents are hoping to garner support for a family justice center following a town hall on the subject Thursday night.

Members of the ad hoc groups Concerned Community Members for a Family Justice Center and Save Our Shelter partnered with staff from Shelter From the Storm to propose the justice center, the co-location of a multi-disciplinary team of professionals who work together under one roof to provide coordinated services to victims of family violence.

“I want to reassure everyone that we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel,” said Teresa Crouser, executive director of Shelter From the Storm. “What you’re going to hear tonight is a considerably more holistic approach, one that includes all aspects of services to address family violence.”

In the proposal, the justice center would house Shelter From the Storm, Mount Emily Safe Center, local law enforcement agencies, the district attorney’s office, courts, community corrections and mental health services.

Crouser said the center would act as a sort of “one-stop shop” for victims.

Family justice center advocates recognize that the project is an ambitious one. Crouser roughly estimates the total cost would be between $25 million and $30 million, but is proposing a phased approach.

“That number doesn’t frighten me,” she said. “When you believe in something, it’s amazing what can happen.”

For the complete story, see Friday's edition of The Observer. 

 
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