A Dallas non-profit offering support to women experiencing domestic violence is getting a new home.
Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support said this move will allow them to help thousands of more women and children.
The cramped rooms at Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support located on Lemon Avenue reveal the wear and tear and years of work helping an increasing number of women and children suffering domestic violence.
“We have no more spaces for counseling and advocacy and yet have a very, very lengthy waiting list for these kinds of services,” said CEO Jan Langbein.
In order to meet these growing needs, Langbein said, requires more space.
“We are very excited,” she said.
The shelter and support group announced Wednesday they will soon break ground on a new building, twice the size of their current space.
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“We will not only be able to double the number of women and children that we see but also be able to create programs that we’ve not been able to do before,” she said.
Renderings, provided by Genesis, show the 3-story, 28,000-square foot building that will be built on Lucas Street near Harry Hines Boulevard.
While no new shelter space will be included, the new building will have a law library, legal clinic and child trauma recovery center.
Langbein said the goal is to prevent the need for a shelter bed by offering more non-residential services.
Since the start of the pandemic, Genesis said it’s seen a 10% increase in calls for help.
“We know that women have experienced not just more abuse but more severe abuse as well,” said Langbein.
She points to instances where abusers have even used COVID-19 as their weapon.
“He would make her wash her hands til they bleed, or he would not allow her to wear a mask when she goes to the grocery store,” she said.
Because victims are often quarantined at home with their abusers due to COVID-19, Langbein advises women to devise a safety plan with a neighbor.
"If the porch light is on after 9 at night please call police for me." she suggests.
While the full impacts of COVID-19 on domestic violence are yet to been known, Genesis hopes they will be ready and better equipped to see survivors through.
“We’re very proud of the past of Genesis, but we are very excited about our future,” said Langbein.
The non-profit’s leader said they have raised over 80% in philanthropic support for the new building, including donations from the David B. Miller Family Foundation, The Rees-Jones Foundation, Nancy Best, and a challenge grant from the J.E. & L.E. Mabee Foundation.
Genesis plans to break ground on the new building in the Spring of 2021 with the goal of opening in the spring of 2022.
Click here to learn more about the group’s capital campaign.
Genesis Women's Shelter and Support 24-hour Hotline is 214-946-4357.