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"The Refuge" Expanding
Sunday, 25 January 2009

January 25--  "The Refuge" Domestic Violence Shelter in Toombs County is expanding to take better care of the children who come with their mothers seeking safety in the shelter.

Karen Brantley with "The Refuge" says they shelter more kids than they do women.  "We actually serve more children than we do women because most women have more than one child.  We have served over a thousand children, and that's a lot.  They are devastated and have no basis of understanding for the violence they've seen and lived in.  Everything will be geared more toward them and we'll have a special place for their support groups, too," she reports.

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Groundbreaking participants are (L-R) Henry Walker, Fred Bacon, Karen Brantley, Skeeter Toole, Raymond Turner, Carroll Williams, William Sherrod, Ken Warnock, Marsha and Dent Temples, Buddy West, Franklin Brantley, Nettie Milton, Vickie Tillary, Louie Powell, Betty Dell Williams, Susan Murray, Belinda Vaughn and Cheryl West.

A groundbreaking was held last week for a 1,400 square-foot youth room which Karen Brantley knows will be a welcome addition for the shelter's young people. "The only place we have right now is very small for toddlers.  We don't have anything for the older youth.  They're kids and they get bored.  We'll have a computer lab, a big screen TV, a ping-pong table, and some games for them.  It's a place just for kids," she says.

The design for the room was furnished free by Buckley and Associates in Swainsboro.  The $130,000 cost is mostly through community contributions including seed money from the Sweet Onion Classic Charity Golf Tournament.  "They've been wonderful, and Susan Murray through the Leadership Toombs-Montgomery class took this on as a project and it took us a while, but she took the reins on this fundraiser and the community has been very supportive," Brantley says.

The work is being done by Harry Moses Construction of Vidalia.  It should be completed within three to four months, according to Carroll Williams.

 
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