Volunteers working to give child domestic violence victims a new place
Updated: Tuesday, April 2 2013, 10:30 PM EDT
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A group of women volunteers is working to give child victims of domestic violence a place to go that's all their own.
They've partnered with the YWCA on a wellness yard project.
The Junior League is hoping to make some changes to the Heritage Hill neighborhood for those living in a nearby shelter.
They say giving them a place to call their own will help get their minds off what brought them there in the first place.
"They come into the shelter, and they are looking for a safe haven and they are with their mothers in tow, potentially late at night, and they really need a place to call their own," said Anne Marine Hillary with the Grand Rapids Junior League.
Those behind the Wellness Adventure Yard project--or, WAY--are working to give kids at the YWCA domestic crisis center in Grand Rapids a chance to focus on just being kids.
"They don't have any place for those children to go," Hillary said. "So the children might have to relive the story of the abuse they encountered."
The Junior League is now two years into the project, hoping to break ground on a playground in late spring, with construction completed by October.
Only a small portion of the $120,000 has been raised for the project, though.
"For five dollars you can purchase a brick," Hillary said. "If you purchase 20, you can have it engraved."
The Junior League tells Newschannel 3 that the play area installation could be the first step toward independence for mothers and children.
"I think the most important thing for the community to understand is right now, the crisis center does not qualify for licensed child care," Hillary explained.
Qualifying for that care will give moms a chance to leave their children in safe hands while interviewing for jobs.
For more on the project, including how you can help, click here.