New Peace House facility designed
When a woman was shot more than 20 years ago in the parking lot of a local grocery store, it was a wake-up call to the community that something more needed to be done for domestic violence victims, according to Jane Patten, executive director of the Peace House.
The community’s response resulted in the creation of the nonprofit organization, which has been dedicated to providing shelter, programs and case management to Wasatch and Summit county victims while they recover from abusive relationships since the early 1990s. The shelter provides short-term housing to victims at an undisclosed location in Park City.
However, "things are done differently now and people need to have the time and support systems to move on with their lives," Patten said.
"Right now our average that people stay in the shelter is 30 days. Some stay well beyond that and some stay for a short amount of time, but it’s very hard to get people on their feet and self-sufficient," Patten said.
Nearly five years ago, the Peace House executive board began contemplating another overhaul of the system and the services it provides to victims.
"We started to talk about a new facility that is so much more than just a shelter," Patten said. "It is transitional housing that we give people for that extended stay with all the support services that would allow them to really work on getting back on their feet and moving toward independence."
The Park City Planning Commission recently approved the conditional-use permit for the new facility and last week the Summit County Council received an update on the project’s progress.
Patten said it has been "quite a wonderful process" considering all the possibilities for the new facility as the shelter’s focus shifts toward transitional and long-term services.
Doug Clyde, the project manager, is now moving from the design to architecture phase.
"We have gotten our permits and we will be ready to break ground in the fall," Clyde said. "We’d like to get a shovel in the ground in August."
The new multi-million dollar facility will be situated between the Health Department and Park City Medical Center on Round Valley Drive in Quinn’s Junction. It will include 20 housing units, with eight units for emergencies and 12 units for traditional housing up to two years. The executive board is in the process of securing the fund for the project.
"Right now it is a sequestered facility that is not open to the public and that is there for the purpose of protection," Clyde said. "The Peace House going forward is going to be a much different animal."
The two-story facility will include an indoor recreation and child-care center, office space, a courtyard, community and counseling rooms and secure, enclosed parking.
Jim Smith, a member of the Peace House executive board, said now that the permits are secured the process will move along quickly. Smith has served as chairman of the board for two terms and was part of the initial conversations that sparked the project.
"We now have the hardest pieces done," Smith said. "We’re four years into it and it’s taken that long to get it done. But we’ve had great support from the county and city and wonderful support from the people involved in our community.
"This really will be a terrific asset to Summit and Wasatch counties," Smith said.
To view the artists renderings of the facility and a full staff report, go to http://summitcounty.org/DocumentCenter/View/2982.
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