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New Akron Battered Women's Shelter Should Be Complete By This Summer

Hope & Healing

  The Battered Women’s Shelter of Summit and Medina Counties is in the final phase of renovations for its new facility in Akron, with a goal of being finished by this summer.

The facility -- called "Hope & Healing" -- takes the place of two smaller buildings, which will close down when work on the Akron shelter is completed. The whole project will increase the number of available beds from 92 to 184.

Melissa Hamlin is director of advancement at the shelter and says they’re still seeking the final piece of the $2.5 million needed for renovations.

"The funding that we have available now is enough to do the three main floors where the residents will live. And the lower level where there’ll be family activity rooms [and] toddler rooms. After that, we’ll move into our final phase of our commercial kitchen, playground [and] outside security."

The outside work also includes the demolition of the Mart Building on Exchange Street, which will become the shelter’s parking lot. CEO Terri Heckman says renovations in what used to be a nursing home first began in 2012 and the improvements have a physical and emotional value to clients.

"You feel more respected. You feel better about yourself. You feel more energized and happier. And that's what this place does: it gives a whole sense of respect and recovery that's not available in the old buildings."

Although the facility is what’s known as “open-address,” Heckman says there’s still an anonymous shelter for use as needed. The Battered Women’s Shelter of Summit and Medina Counties also offers support groups, financial assistance and child advocacy.

Anyone needing assistance from the Battered Women’s Shelter of Summit and Medina Counties can call the anonymous help line at 330-374-1111.