GALLIPOLIS — Square One, a nonprofit group looking to create a domestic violence and women’s homeless shelter to serve Gallia, Meigs and Jackson counties, received conditional approval from the Gallipolis Planning Commission during a Monday night meeting for a location within Gallipolis municipal limits.
The group was approved pending it will produce documents to the commission listing its goals, plans and techniques used to accomplish said goals. The documents were likened to what one would submit for a grant application to help fund the organization. The commission is also anticipated to meet to discuss concerns with neighboring residences that may sit close to the potential shelter.
“Every client is different and we would create a case plan with them,” said Square One Executive Director Ashley Durst. “In doing that, as long as they are following that plan, they should be able to leave (to a more permanent home).”
“We have a bunk system planned out,” said Square One Board President Sonya Hatem.
She likened the sleeping arrangements to be something similar to military sleeping quarters in that individual clients may not have their own rooms. Hatem said the group wanted to help clients as quickly as possible to get them into a more permanent housing situation while finding services to assist them in overcoming trauma. This may include also housing children following their mothers.
The nonprofit intends to offer classes to teach clients independent living techniques, educating them about budgeting, home cooking and how to shop for needed items along with other such lessons. The group also hopes to accomplish this in a trauma-informed manner as many of their clients might come from challenging circumstances. This, Square One representatives said, would be accomplished by connecting them with appropriate social services and potential therapy services.
Planning Commission Member Troy Johnson asked how would security be handled.
Square One representatives replied that the facility would be staffed 24 hours a day at seven days a week with employees trained in deescalation techniques as well as other appropriate methods geared to communicating with individuals from a variety of backgrounds, whether that included trauma, homelessness, substance abuse or mental health issues.
Square One hopes to provide roughly 16 beds for domestic violence victims and homeless women in its mission.
The shelter would seek to serve women from homeless backgrounds, but if a man was seeking refuge from domestic abuse, the shelter aims to have facilities to provide them with resources and assistance separate from the women.
On predetermined days of the month, the organization would also seek to connect homeless men with area services and sheltering resources.
‘There certainly is a need for these services here,” said Hatem.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342.