The Safe Center LI, which is based at 15 Grumman Rd. West in Bethpage, announced last week that they are launching a capital campaign to raise $3 million to create a second safe house for domestic violence victims.
The organization already owns a safe home that has 17 beds for domestic violence victims, but this is the lowest per-capita rate of beds in New York. Executive director Cynthia Scott said that, since they have the only safe home in Nassau County, they are forced to send victims to other counties.
“We send more people out of the county to seek safety than house them here,” Scott said. “We thought it was a problem and the Nassau County Department of Social Services did as well.”
The department sent out a request for proposals over a year ago to see if anyone would be able to facilitate another safe house in the county. The Safe Center threw their hat in the ring and were chosen by the county to run the establishment, but the question remained how the shelter was going to be set-up.
“The county is able to make the commitment to support the ongoing operations once the shelter is established, which is wonderful,” Scott said. “But they don’t have the resources to provide us with the funding that would be required in order to purchase and renovate a site. So, we are embarking upon a capital campaign that will allow us to do that.”
The new safe house will provide 15 beds to domestic violence victims. As funding is being raised for the campaign, the center is actively looking for a site to build, which will not be ultimately disclosed to the public in order to protect victims who stay there.
The Safe Center’s sole safe house gives victims a chance to stay for up to 90 days, with two 90-day extensions if needed.
“For some people, the first month or so is just getting settled down, letting the dust settle and allowing themselves some time to heal,” Safe House Director Terray Gregoretti said. “But others come to us with their lives generally intact. It varies from person to person, but while they are there, advocates are there to help them with what they need.”
Advocates at the safe house help provide many services to victims, including clothing and food. Children who stay there can get assistance with transportation to school if they continue attending the same school, or they can register to attend a school that’s closer to the safe house. Victims are also connected with the center’s law services to help them with legal counseling. With general counseling and other safety services as well, The Safe Center provides a lot in order for victims to get back on their feet.
“The goal is to help people become as independent as possible,” Gregoretti said.
The center’s yearly fundraisers will be a huge part in raising the funds necessary to build the second safe house. This includes “Taste That Jazz” on Monday, April 6, at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow (www.tsclitaste.org), the “Swing for Hope Golf Outing” on Monday, June 8, at North Shore Country Club in Glen Head (www.tscligolf.org) and the 2020 “Every Home A Safe Home Gala” on Thursday, Oct. 15, at the Garden City Hotel in Garden City (www.tscligala.org).
Visit the campaign’s website at www.tsclisafehomes.org for more information on how to donate. The Safe Center has a 24/7 hotline for victims at 516-542-0404 where they can get help or get information on the agency. Visit www.tscli.org for more information on the agency, including how to volunteer.