Oakland County’s domestic violence shelter recently changed the way it deals with cases of abuse.

It recently adopted a philosophy known as the family justice center model, which aims to bring domestic violence multi-disciplinary services into a single location.

“Statistics show that the average domestic violence victim needs 25 to 28 services, such as housing, schooling, programs for children,” HAVEN Development Director Rachel Decker said. “So, the victim has to fill out separate paperwork for each service … . This model alleviates that because it brings all the services together.”

So all the services can be under one roof HAVEN is building a facility to house all of its programs and services. The $5 million project isn’t much larger than the three current facilities combined, and it should be complete by the fall, Decker said.

“The (current) shelter is an old 1920s convent, so it’s become very costly to maintain,” she said. “The new facility gives us an extra bedroom to house an additional 10 people.”

“We do turn away about 700 people each year because of shelter,” she said. “With this new (family justice center) model, women are able to transition ... faster or may not even need the shelter specifically.”

Macomb County’s Turning Point has been in a new shelter for the past 18 months, after opening a new 52-bed facility in Mount Clemens.

“The old facility was built in the early 1980s and could no longer meet our needs,” CEO Suzanne Coats said. “The new shelter is larger, more efficient and handicap accessible.”

Turning Point recently suffered a small fire that damaged a number of rooms. Repairs are expected to be completed soon, shelter officials said.

Leah Borst is a Metro Detroit freelance writer.

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