Klickitat County will soon be home to a new shelter to support victims of domestic violence, thanks to efforts coordinated by Programs for Peaceful Living (PFPL) and Washington Gorge Action Programs (WAGAP). After a multi-year effort, WAGAP has closed on a three-bedroom home that will act as a haven for individuals and families who have been affected by domestic violence and need a transitional space to figure out their next steps.
Supporters are dubbing the new shelter “Gina’s Place” for Rep. Gina Mosbrucker (R-District 14), who was pivotal in securing $250,000 from Washington State’s capital budget during the 2019-2020 session, part of the $345,000 raised toward the effort. These funds made it possible to secure the building, which came in for a total cost of just under $280,000. The remaining funds will go towards remodeling, furnishing, supplying, and operating the shelter.
“We are just really excited! This is years and years in the making,” said Leslie Naramore, WAGAP’s executive director. “To bring this to life is thrilling! We are so thankful to Gina for working with us to make this possible. Without her assistance to work with the capital budget, I don’t know if this would have happened.”
“It is an honor and privilege to be available to those that need to break the silence,” said Mosbrucker of the efforts to bring a domestic violence shelter to Klickitat County. “This will help to break that cycle of violence. You can’t heal and break that cycle without a lock on the door. They need to get to a place of safety.”
“Now that the purchase is complete, we are so excited to, finally, start the next phase,” said PFPL Director Kirsten Poole. “Our team is jumping in by doing a deep cleaning of the building and an inventory. We can then focus on what needs to be done to bring the place to code. We need to make sure the site and program will meet all of the WACs (Washington Administrative Codes).”
It has been several decades since a functioning space was last available for this purpose. Klickitat County is one of two counties in Washington State that currently does not have a facility. Poole said she hopes to have the site up and running by the end of summer this year. Until that time, they will continue to partner with other regional agencies for shelter services.
Programs for Peaceful Living serve all Klickitat County residents and their families with domestic violence prevention, sexual assault prevention, and general crime victim services. All services are free and confidential, and referrals are made for those who reside outside of the county.
If you are in crisis, call the 24/7 toll-free crisis line at 844-493-1709. For assistance or more information, call the Goldendale office at 509-773-6100 or the Bingen office at 509-493-2662.