NEWPORT, Ark. (KAIT) - The ribbon cutting marked a new beginning for the White River Women’s Shelter.
Despite the name, which will be changed in the future, the shelter now serves both men, women and their children fleeing from domestic violence, sexual assault and elder abuse.
It will serve those in Jackson, Lawrence, Randolph, Sharp, and Woodruff counties.
The building was originally the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the community came together and truly flipped this house for a better cause.
Instead of housing those in trouble, it will now serve those getting away from their troubles.
Everything from furniture, a full food pantry, clothing, down to the building itself was all donated from the community.
Executive Director Teresa Aasen said community support was the reason they were there in the first place. That, and helping those in need find their light again.
“We want to instill in them hope and empower them to make the changes that they need to in their lives so that they can live a life that’s free from the cycle of violence, that’s our goal, that’s what were here for,” said Aasen.
Another thing that made this shelter special was its dedication to hang plaques in honor of those who have contributed to the success of the shelter but also those who have lost their lives due to domestic violence like Amanda Ponder.
In the future, the shelter will allow residents to bring one special thing, a furry friend.
“Victims, sometimes, stay in these places of abuse because they can’t bring their pets, so we plan to service cats and dogs once we get kennels,” said Aasen.
It took a community to make this all possible and it will also take community to keep it going. If you would like to donate to the shelter, visit their Facebook page.