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SAFE Harbor finds a new place to dock

From SAFE Harbor

The SAFE Harbor staff stand in front of their new spacious building. (courtsey photo) The SAFE Harbor staff stand in front of their new spacious building. (courtsey photo)

RONAN— Change can be challenging or exciting.  Sometimes it can even be amazing. Last month, SAFE Harbor faced one of those changes that was a dream come true. In early January, the agency was able to take a giant step forward with the relocation of its main office to a larger space. For six years they had been located in the original Ronan Telephone Office building on Main Street, which was provided by ACCESS Montana.

“We are so thankful to the ACCESS Montana team and the Preston family for standing behind us for all this time,” said SAFE Harbor Executive Director DeeAnn Richardson.  “They really allowed us to save and grow as an organization, which meant that we eventually would have to find a bigger location.”

SAFE Harbor provides support services to victims and families dealing with violence, including shelter, legal assistance, crisis intervention, advocacy, counseling, transportation and a 24-hotline. All services are free and available to all people, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race or age. Currently, the program maintains the shelter, as well as an office in Ronan and the Legal Assistance Program in Polson, near the court house. They also offer a Women’s and Children’s Group on a weekly basis and coordinate the Batterer Intervention Program with the local justice system. Legal services are available for clients working with any of the local courts and are reviewed on a case by case basis.  Areas of legal assistance can include orders of protection, child support, custody, visitation, safety planning, danger assessment, consumer finance, criminal issues or referrals.  Along with these program options, SAFE Harbor also has a wide array of free educational presentations that can be geared to any age group or area of interest.

Now, they have an office that can accommodate all of these activities. That space, the former Windermere Real Estate Building on Highway 93, across from Lynn’s Drive-In, has more office space, a meeting room and an area for children to play while their parents are talking with an advocate.  This big change all started with a conversation between retired realtor and building owner Janette Rosman and SAFE Harbor Board member, Vickie Radford.

“Vickie is not afraid of asking for assistance, she does it all the time for so many non-profits,” Richardson explained.  “She just put it out there, then Janette and Curt decided to show their support by working with SAFE Harbor to purchase the property.”

The Rosmans are both former SAFE Harbor Board members and long-time supporters of the program. After visiting with her husband, Curt, the two met with SAFE Harbor Executive Director DeeAnn Richardson and made a proposal that was extremely generous. Next, the SAFE Harbor Board of Directors, which includes representatives from across the community reviewed the proposal and made a formal decision.  All of the pieces aligned and the process was completed just in time for the new year.

“We are so thankful to the Rosmans for making this a reality,” Richardson said. “The new office will help us to have a bigger visual presence with the location right on the main road through town, the ability to offer trainings and host meetings as well as the potential for other types of growth in the future. More on that later.” For information about SAFE Harbor, call 676-0800, visit our website at www.safeharbormt.org or email us at deeann@safeharbormt.org.
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