At Tuesday’s Turlock City Council meeting, the Council voted unanimously to approve a five year lease agreement between the City of Turlock and the Haven Women’s Center of Stanislaus, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting women and children who have been victims of domestic and sexual violence, that will allow the organization to open a Haven Women’s Center at the former Recreation Office, located at 301 Starr Avenue.
The Starr location was considered ideal for the delivery of these services as it is located directly across the street from the current Turlock Police Department as well as less than a mile from Emanuel Medical Center.
Haven Women’s Center of Stanislaus is a catalyst for individual empowerment and societal change. Haven promotes safety and healing for women and children impacted by domestic or sexual violence, dedicates itself to a non-judgmental, holistic, client centered approach through advocacy, education and supportive services, and believes in honoring their heritage, and validating the feelings and experiences of the many lives affected by violence against women.
The City of Turlock, which is the second largest city in Stanislaus County, is currently underserved in regards to support and social services offered to the community, as pointed out by House Program Services Manager Maryn Pitt.
“We welcome the partnership and the services being offered,” stated Police Chief Rob Jackson. “It’s a great benefit for us.”
The Haven Women’s Center has been serving women and children in Stanislaus County for 34 years. The agency operates with the philosophy that gender-based societal barriers toward women still exist in the forms of violence and discrimination because of gender, race, age, culture, religious preference, sexual orientation or developmental or physical ability. Haven is dedicated to serving as an agent of social change while supporting individual women to strive for equity and empowerment.
Services include counseling services, youth programs and education, case management, legal assistance, and behavioral health services.
Haven Executive Director Belinda Rolicheck, who spoke at the meeting on behalf of the Haven Women’s Center organization, expressed excitement for the new center in Turlock.
“This is such a great thing for Haven and for Turlock,” stated Rolicheck. “We’ve wanted to come to Turlock for many years.”
Rolicheck stated that the new center in Turlock is “long overdue”. Just like many other non-profit organizations, the Women’s Haven Center is also feeling the hurt of economy, and currently do not have the funds to offer a shelter function at the new Turlock Women’s Haven Center, but instead will offer many of the other counseling and legal services that the Modesto Center offers as well.
“It is wonderful,” stated Councilwoman Mary Jackson. “It is a desperate need.”