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Non-Profit Driving Its Plan for Multi-Service Facility to Shelter Domestic-Violence Victims

Interact would create a one-stop resource where women could find shelter, medical help, counseling, police and vocational resources.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A plan by the domestic-violence agency Interact could create a model for domestic violence programs across the state — a single location in which women and dependents could get shelter, counseling, legal advice, medical help and access to police.

Interact has taken ownership of the former YWCA building on Oberlin Road in Raleigh. Now, there are only empty rooms and hallways, but some believe it is a vision for how to provide services. Interact plans to open the building early in 2008.

“This program will be a model program for domestic-violence agencies all across the country because what we're doing is providing one-stop shopping for families that are in crisis,” Adam Hartzell, Interact’s executive director, said Tuesday.

“We'll have legal services. We'll have law enforcement, vocational education opportunities, a medical clinic that will be on site,” Hartzell said.

The Raleigh Police Department has agreed to move it's entire Domestic Violence Unit to Interact’s center.

The project also has the support of the Legislature. This session alone, there have been more than 40 bills introduced related to domestic violence, including a bill that would earmark $500,000 for the project.

“It has been bipartisan, almost unanimous votes on a lot of these topics,” state Sen. Janet Cowell, D-Wake, said.

“With the interact bill, that one is really about the capacity of having additional beds in Wake County which is ,of course, one of the highest-growth counties,” Cowell explained.

“We are turning away families that need help, and that's not the situation we want to be in,” Hartzell said.

Interact estimates that the entire project will cost about $5 million, of which it has raised about half.

The non-profit plans to launch a public campaign for support in the next few weeks.


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