TURLOCK -- Haven Women's Center of Stanislaus is poised to open a second site in Turlock to help victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
The nonprofit organization will discuss its plans for the new service site at tonight's City Council meeting. The council will vote on whether to approve a five-year lease agreement with Haven for the city-owned space.
First opened in 1977, Haven Women's Center provides shelter, support, counseling and other services to women and children affected by domestic and sexual violence. The new Turlock site would be at 301 Starr Ave., which formerly housed the city's Recreation Division.
If approved, the agreement would give Haven a five-year lease on the 3,000-square-foot space for the annual rent of $1.
The building had been designated for low- to moderate-income housing development agency in June 2011. But the revenue for the agency fell through, and the space has been vacant since then.
According to a council synopsis, the city sought to find alternate use for the space that still would be "for the public benefit and continue to serve the community."
Haven Executive Director Belinda Rolicheck said the new site should have its doors open by Nov. 5.
She said without Turlock's support, Haven wouldn't have been able to open another center at this time.
"We've known of a need in Turlock for a very long time. We knew access could be a problem not just for people in Turlock, but the whole south end of the county," Rolicheck said.
The new site will offer the same services as the Modesto site except for its shelter. These include support groups, legal services and children's and youth programs.
Haven helps about 2,600 women and children each year with direct services.
Rolicheck said discussions about opening a Turlock site started about a year ago. The plans for the Starr Avenue location came together quickly.
The center's 45-member staff will split time between the Modesto and Turlock locations. The Turlock site will be staffed daily, although all services may not be available every day.
"Ultimately, we hope to have a dedicated staff and dedicated funding for the Turlock office, and hope to expand it to an exact replica of what we have in Modesto," Rolicheck said.
Haven operates on a $1.5 million annual budget that comes from a mix of state and federal funding, grants and community donations.
"This will be a great addition and we're excited about it," Rolicheck said.
For more on Haven Women's Center of Stanislaus, call (209) 524-4331 or visit http://hwcstan.squarespace.com. Haven's 24-hour toll-free crisis line is (888) 454-2836.
Bee staff writer Marijke Rowland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2284.