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CVIC launches campaign for new shelter to meet growing needs

CVIC Executive Director Kristi Hall-Jiran

A new emergency shelter is looking less like a dream and more like a reality for staff at the Community Violence Intervention Center in Grand Forks.

Half of the $2.8 million it will take to construct a new shelter, which would house up to 40 people fleeing from domestic violence, has already been committed by individuals and businesses.

The center aims to prevent violence through education and provide resources and shelter to victims of domestic violence.

A fundraising effort called the Building Hope Campaign and headed by 16 community leaders will strive to raise the remaining funds.

“I am confident that together we can ensure a lifeline to safety and freedom is available through the Building Hope Campaign,” campaign chairman Karl Bollingberg said Monday at a press conference.

The expenses include costs for construction, furnishings, first-year operation costs, a victim support endowment and campaign costs.

The proposed shelter will replace CVIC’s Light of Hope shelter, which is rented from another organization in the community.

The 20-bed facility operated by the center for 14 years will become unavailable in 2016 as the organization renting it to CVIC has plans for the building.

 Recently, the shelter has been strained by an increasing number of clients.

“Our Light of Hope Shelter — the only shelter in our area designed to help people impacted by violence — is bursting at the seams,” CVIC Executive Director Kristi Hall-Jiran said.

From 2010 to 2012, the annual total of adults and children spending the night at Light of Hope increased from 103 to 139.

The annual total of nights those clients stayed at the shelter increased from 2,000 to 2,941 — an average of 21 nights each.

Preliminary plans for the new shelter reveal a facility with single bedrooms, family suites, areas for children to play and teens to hang out, an exercise room, yard and attached garages.

So far, about 18 local construction companies have pledged support through in-kind gift to build the shelter — estimated to be about $1.5 million of the total cost.