Rose Haven Plans New Shelter


Gadsden Times

Lisa Rogers, Times Staff Writer
July 27, 2009

The Rose Haven Center for Domestic Violence now is in compliance with the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence and is preparing to open a new shelter in Etowah County, said Joy Ballenger, president of the Rose Haven board of directors.

The shelter in Gadsden has been closed since September, and victims of domestic violence in Etowah County were referred to 2nd Chance Inc. in Anniston or Kelly’s Rainbow in Marshall County, Ballenger said. Victims will continue to be referred to the other shelters until a new shelter opens. Ballenger said an exact date is not set, but plans are to reopen a local shelter before the end of the year.
The board members of Rose Haven voted in September to close the shelter temporarily because of financial difficulties. The shelter also had fallen out of compliance with the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence, according to Ballenger.

She said the board has been restructuring and reorganizing and has worked to regain compliance.
“Being out of compliance with ACADV affected the amount of funding we received through (Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs),” Ballenger said. Federal funding is administered through ADECA, and federal funds are used to help pay the shelter’s rent, utilities and employees. Rose Haven also operates on donations.

Rose Haven was organized in 1979 to assist homeless victims of domestic violence in Cherokee, DeKalb and Etowah counties. Clients in Cherokee and DeKalb counties have been served by Kelly’s Rainbow in Marshall County and will continue to be until the shelter reopens, Ballenger said. Rose Haven opened its first shelter in 1985 with a mission to provide safe, confidential shelter, crisis intervention and advocacy for women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

Ballenger said the need for a domestic violence shelter has remained strong since the local shelter closed. “I wish I could say that we didn’t need it, but that is not the case,” she said. “We still desperately need it.” Ballenger said economic difficulties are one of the triggers that provoke domestic violence and abuse. She said she is concerned that economic times will be a factor in an increase in the need for a local shelter.
Crisis calls are accepted 24 hours a day at 543-3059. That is the same phone number previously used, Ballenger said.
The administrative office number has remained the same at 543-2408.

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