Nonprofit opening $4.5M HQ and domestic abuse shelter


Courtesy Safe Haven Ministries

A local nonprofit that serves domestic abuse survivors has a new headquarters that doubles its shelter capacity.

Safe Haven Ministries said this week it is moving into a new $4.5-million headquarters and shelter space at 2627 Birchcrest Dr. SE in Grand Rapids, which will open for clients on Dec. 11.

The 20,800-square-foot, two-story facility will bring all the nonprofit’s programs, services and staff under one roof.

The shelter side includes 14 shelter rooms, with bathrooms, that can house up to 56 women and children, as well as two kitchens, two advocacy offices and eight workstations.

The administrative side of the building includes nine offices, an open workspace and 10 workstations.

The increased program space will allow Safe Haven to host trainings on domestic abuse prevention and response, according to Tara Aday, director of prevention and education, Safe Haven Ministries. The organization facilitates about 450 trainings for more than 6,000 people each year.

The previous headquarters, at 3501 Lake Eastbrook Blvd. SE in Grand Rapids, housed administrative and non-shelter programs, with the former seven-bedroom, 28-bed capacity shelter in an undisclosed location nearby.

Aday said research has shown public knowledge of a shelter’s location tends to reduce risk levels, because neighbors typically watch for unwelcomed guests, and abusers typically prefer to remain anonymous, which is why the organization does not feel uncomfortable sharing the new shelter’s location.

Megan Hopkins, executive director of Safe Haven Ministries, said the nonprofit also installed amenities to help clients feel safe, including built-in security systems, privacy fencing and monitored indoor and outdoor play areas.

The nonprofit has hired additional non-residential staff to help with increased capacity and plans to hire one or two more.

Safe Haven has 22 employees and three interns and serves about 650 adults and children each year, though that number is expected to increase with the new facility.

Project funding and donations

Funding comes from a $5.5-million capital campaign, now fully funded after the sale of the previous headquarters, launched in December 2016 with a $4-million goal.

The remaining $1 million from the campaign will now be used for increased operational costs and new staff.

Nearly all the facility’s furniture is new or gently used, donated or steeply discounted by RT London, Custer, West Michigan Office, Kentwood Office Furniture, Worden and Klingman's.

Firms on the project

Grand Rapids-based InterActive Studio was the project's architect.

Grand Rapids-based Rockford Construction was the contractor on the project.

Ada-based Dixon Interior Design completed the majority of the project's interior design.

Safe Haven

Founded in 1990, Safe Haven Ministries shelters women and children who are victims of domestic abuse and offers support groups, case management, legal advocacy and youth programming for residential and non-residential clients.

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