TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse secured funding to expand its shelter and offer a more trauma-based way to housing option.
“Over the last five years or so we average about 600 a year just in our emergency shelter and usually about half of those are children,” said Ed Sakwa, CEO of the center.
Sakwa said the expansion was sparked after the pandemic forced them out of the old shelter to a non-communal place.
It’s being funded by Pima County, The City of Tucson and an anonymous donor.
“Each of them put in a million dollars to allow us to then renovate our shelter and take 13 units and convert them to 28. And those 28 units will all be self-contained non-congregate units where each family will have their own bedroom, their own bathroom, their own kitchenette,” said Sakwa.
It’ll also give the center the opportunity to offer a more trauma-based service, according to Sakwa.
Rachel Tineo said that's something that would have helped her niece, Tina.
“She was the glue that held us all together,” as she held a sign with her nieces face on it.
Tina lost her life to domestic violence seven years ago.
Tineo said the shelter will offer those suffering with an outlet to escape.
“Everyone deserves to be safe. No one deserves to be abused, nor victimized,” said Tineo.
As for what she thinks her niece would say about the expansion.
“What Tina would say about the shelter today is that it's a great place for victims to go and work on their trauma and work on their care and a place where they know they'll be safe. She would be so proud to know that people are going there to get the help that she didn't get to receive,” said Tineo.
Southern Arizonans can also help the expansion that’s in its beginning stages by donating to Emerge.
“The anonymous donor who contributed to the instruction set their ramp up as a challenge brand for the community. And the idea is that for every $2 we raise in the community that will help us with the operating cost and the ability to stay in this temporary setting. They will contribute $1 up to a million for the construction,” said Sakwa.
Emerge expects to break ground in the fall of 2022.
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