Officials from Turning Point held an event Friday to raise awareness and funds for the upcoming Delaware domestic violence shelter.
Staff and supporters celebrated being close to two-thirds of the way to their goal of $3.2 million.
Plans for a Turning Point facility in Delaware were announced in September 2016 when Turning Point began accepting donations, hoping to reach $3.2 million in order to renovate a facility located at 500 North Liberty Street.
When completed, the facility will be able to house 45 individuals and will have eight suites for families as well as transitional housing and a heated kennel for pets of clients.
Executive Director Paula Roller said Friday that the agency has collected just over $2 million for the project and said she expects the facility to be completed in Spring 2018.
Turning Point held a “Party in the Barn” event Friday to commemorate their progress so far and to recognize to Bill Cornely, a consultant who worked with the shelter to secure the location and get the Delaware project off the ground. Cornely passed away in June.
Barb Lyon, the vice president of Delaware County’s United Way, said she worked closely with Cornely on the project and said he was “instrumental” in getting the campaign underway.
“Bill sprinkled goodness and wonderfulness all throughout this project, and he gave so generously of his time and his treasure,” Lyon said tearfully. Lyon said Cornely’s family was offering a $50,000 match to inspire others to donate to the project.
Attendees at the event were offered tours of the under-construction complex and were given information about how the facility will be laid out and function.
“This facility and others like it speak for people who have no voice,” said Mark Pizzi, one of the chairs of the campaign committee. “These folks don’t have a voice if you don’t give it to them. We simply don’t believe that people should live in fear. This will be the place they turn to, thanks to you.”
Delaware County Sheriff Russell Martin also spoke at the event, praising the work of Turning Point and expressing his excitement that Delaware County will finally have a domestic violence shelter.
“A measure of a society’s civility is how they take care of their most vulnerable,” Martin said. “Nobody is more vulnerable than when they are in the throes of domestic violence.”
Martin said domestic situations are the second most common call that law enforcement responds to on a daily basis in Delaware County.
“It’s been almost an embarrassment that the largest county in Ohio not to have a domestic violence shelter is Delaware County. That changes next year,” Martin said. “These first responders know … those victims, survivors, need respite and need someplace to retreat to to break that cycle. I can’t tell you how excited and encouraged I am to be standing in this facility. … The way you extend legacy beyond yourself is to leave things behind that make a difference for people.”
Donations to Turning Point can be made at http://turningpoint6.org/delaware-shelter.