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Family support council looks for land

by Joyce Hollister, staff writer

The Family Support Council has been offered a house but has no place to put it.

According to the council’s executive director, Karen Edwards, the house would be used as the long-awaited domestic violence shelter.

“This is the perfect opportunity,” Edwards said, not only for the Family Support Council but also for someone who might donate land. Because the council is a non-profit agency, she explained, the donation would be tax-deductible.

Over the last two years, the council has raised $206,000 for the proposed domestic violence shelter. The funds would be used to build a new foundation, move the donated house and get it ready. The structure needs painting but otherwise is in good condition.

She hopes to hear soon from anyone who could donate land, as she wants to take advantage of the proposed donation from the “very nice gentleman, the very wonderful community citizen who has generously offered to donate the house.”

There is a sense of urgency about the project, as the donor would like to build a new home where the existing house is located.

Land for the shelter cannot be in a neighborhood because of confidentiality concerns, and it cannot be located on agricultural land because of permitting issues.

Edwards said the council would have to hire a staff member to run the shelter, and the funds for opening and operating the shelter for at least a year and a half are available.

The shelter would house three to four families with children. The battered family member would received counseling, job skills training and parenting education with the goal of getting the family back on its feet.

“They will stay in the shelter long enough so they will be able to leave the shelter and, hopefully, rent an apartment or a house and be on their feet and not be in a position to return to the batterer,” Edwards said.

“So many women do it (return to the home of the batterer) because of financial difficulties.”

In place of a community shelter, the council uses safe homes provided by volunteers and the shelter operated by the Advocates to End Domestic Violence in Carson City and the women’s shelter at South Lake Tahoe.

It would be better for Carson Valley families to be located in the community, Edwards said, because the other shelters are far from jobs and schools. Safe homes are for temporary stays.

Edwards can be reached at 782-8692.