FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – It’s been just under a year since a concept of building a domestic violence services center in the Shoals was developed.
Now, the justice center has a permanent home in Florence, making only the second center of its kind in Alabama.
For months, seven investigators and support staff have been cramped into one office on the second floor of the Lauderdale County Courthouse.
They are part of the domestic violence task force for One Place of the Shoals.
It’s a unit designed by the Lauderdale County District Attorney’s Office to assist victims of domestic violence in a single location.
“Too often victims are sent multiple places to get services they need. Some get discouraged and never get those services, and bad things end up happening,” stated Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly.
This week, a sold sign was placed on a building on the corner of Pine and Tennessee Street in downtown Florence.
Through private fund-raising and community support, One Place of the Shoals will be moving into new offices to help expand its reach.
“We’ve been trying to run it out of the office as you know, and even in the not so best circumstances we are getting positive results,” explained Connolly. “We are able to get services to those victims running it here from the office, but this will certainly be an improvement.”
After some minor remodeling to create a family room to assist with victims who bring their children in with them, One Place of the Shoals hopes to be open by late October.
Until the completion of the remodeling, One Place of the Shoals will continue operating inside the Lauderdale County District Attorney’s Office.
Even though private and government funds have been given, Connolly said they plan a capital campaign to retire the remaining debt on the building in the coming months.
One Place of the Shoals was an honoree for a WHNT News 19 “Pay-it-Forward” segment this past April.