Genieve plans expansion

Published 10:42 pm Friday, June 20, 2014

The Genieve Shelter plans to increase its capacity by 80 percent by adding a modular unit and renovating an existing building at its shelter site.

James Gregory, development coordinator for the domestic-violence shelter, said the organization currently is speaking with contractors to get the project going.

“We need more room in the shelter,” Gregory said. “We’re full more times than not. The more funding and the more space we have, the more individual situations we can alleviate.”

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In order to fund the expansion, the shelter will make a special push for donations this year, Gregory said. A fundraising gala is planned for late October at the Hilton Garden Inn on East Constance Road.

The shelter’s programs are also expanding, Gregory said. The development office has started through funding from the Obici Healthcare Foundation.

“They were kind enough to fund our development startup to get the message out and connect with the community to bring these projects to fruition,” Gregory said.

Also funded by the Obici Healthcare Foundation, clients of the shelter now are receiving mental health counseling through the Western Tidewater Community Services Board.

The service is needed because “some of the ladies who come to us have been significantly traumatized,” Gregory said.

In addition, the shelter has started a legal services program through Regent University, where law professors and students help with legal processes including orders of protection and custody issues.

“That’s been really effective thus far,” Gregory said. “They (Regent) are really enthusiastic about continuing.”

Mary Williams-Davis, the shelter’s executive director, said the shelter hopes the community will get behind the new programs.

“We are a small staff, and we encourage more community support of all who want to join in this struggle,” she said. “Domestic violence is not just an individual or family issue, it’s a community issue. Through our shelter services, staff support and community partnership, we can create safer communities, resources and most importantly save lives.”

The Genieve Shelter serves Suffolk, Franklin and Smithfield as well as the counties of Isle of Wight, Southampton and Surry. For more information, visit www.thegenieveshelter.org or call 1-800-969-HOPE (4673).