Domestic Violence Center renovates shelter

(Plain Press, December 2006) Women and children fleeing domestic violence will have better accommodations in a newly renovated shelter in a confidential location on the West Side of Cleveland. On Friday, November 3rd, the Domestic Violence Center held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the reopening of the shelter. The newly rehabbed building features 41 shelter beds for women and children, five cribs, a handicapped-accessible bedroom and bathroom, and a new youth center.

Domestic Violence Center Executive Director Cathy Alexander said the house has served as a shelter since it was donated almost 30 years ago. “For the past decade or so it has been falling apart,” she said. Alexander noted that women living in the shelter have expressed that  “it is hard when your life is falling apart to be in a building that is falling apart.”

In response to the need for an improved shelter the Domestic Violence Center began renovating the facility in February of 2006. The $1.26 million renovation was completed in October of 2006. Domestic Violence Center Board member Madeline Cain praised staff member Linda Johanek for assembling the fundraising team that surpassed its goal in raising over a million dollars for the project.

Cuyahoga County Commissioner Tim Hagan, keynote speaker at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, said citizens of Cuyahoga County have traditionally supported funding for programs like the Domestic Violence Shelter. He called funding of these programs an example of the “conscience of the community.” Hagan noted the bipartisan support for health and human service levies saying political divisions “don’t exist on these kind of issues.”  When politicians reach out to the community for support, according to Hagan, people in Cuyahoga County “understand their obligation to one another” and have the resolve to “care for those who need to be cared for.”

In addition to the shelter, the Domestic Violence Center offers support groups, counseling for women and children, justice system advocacy, support services, youth programming, community education and prevention programs, a volunteer program and a Crisis HELPLINE. The number for the 24 hour hotline is 216-391-HELP. The helpline also has a TDD number 216-651-9600. For more information about the Domestic Violence Center, visit its website at


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