Safe Haven Shelter and Resource Center Renovation Showcase

DULUTH, Minn. – The Safe Haven Shelter and Resource Center is currently under construction and to show off its renovations, an open house was held at the Zeitgeist Atrium.

Those who attended the event were able to take a virtual reality walkthrough tour of the shelter, as well as view before and after pictures.

“We’ve come a long way in the twenty years that we have operated out of our facility, but Duluth is really the birthplace of the domestic violence movement and we’re so proud to represent that and continue the movement moving forward,” Safe Haven Executive Director, Brittany Robb said.

Safe Haven started working with builders just over a year ago. The three-million-dollar project includes doubling the bedroom count from 10 to 20, adding accessible bathrooms, and playroom and client flex rooms.

“We also have another addition on the front of the building that’s going to provide an additional layer of safety for both our staff and our clients,” Robb said.

So far, the interior is renovated, and full capacity is at 39 beds. When the project is completed, Safe Haven anticipates they will have 50 to 60 beds.

“Being able to hear from survivors that this is the space that they need, and they want is really powerful and meaningful to be a part of that process on their behalf,” Robb said.

“I think that when you’re in that situation, it’s a lot of time you feel embarrassed like you are by yourself or maybe it’s that you’ve been in that situation like this before and know you feel like you’ve picked another bad partner and you don’t want it to be like I told you so kind of thing. But it’s like what’s happening in that situation isn’t your fault and there are people that care and want to listen and be there to help you to get out,” Shawna Larson, who stayed with Safe Haven, said.

Safe Haven continues to accept temporal occupancy as parts of the building are still operational. Construction is expected to wrap up in the Spring of 2023.

“I think it’s always really important to let survivors know, and those that support survivors out in the community that we are available 24 hours a day. Our operation has not ceased at all during this remodel process, we know that there’s people that need help. Even if it’s just someone to talk to, if they’re not sure they are in a domestic violence situation, we always encourage folks to call our advocates who answer the phone 24 hours a day,” Robb said.

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