DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The YWCA women’s shelter in downtown Dayton has finished a portion of their major renovation project.
The shelter will lose bed space, but the changes will make the shelter more efficient.
The building that houses the YWCA was built in 1913. The cinder block interior did not make for a comfortable space for domestic abuse survivors.
Floors 3-7 are taking shape as the 17 million dollar dream project becomes reality.
“We had secured funds over here but these were not ready yet. And they all had come in at the same time. So it took years. I’ve been sitting in the building committee meetings since 2011,” exclaimed Nicholas Hubbard, the Compliance and Special Projects Manager at Dayton YWCA.
The third floor, featuring 61 beds will be home to families escaping domestic violence. Staff will tell you there’s been a waiting list for this space for decades.
Victoria Bryant came to the shelter years ago after she was shot. Bryant says it’s important to her that this space doesn’t feel like a prison.
“I was teary eyed. I was in the old one. And it looked different. When I came in here I was very overwhelmed. I had to get my tears together,” said Bryant.
The 3rd floor has 16 cameras and a staff member on guard at all times.
It’s important for survivors to have their own room, their own bathroom and a space for laundry and cooking.
There’s even a privacy window in the children’s play room so parents can protect their children from traumatic conversations with caseworkers.
“So often the kids are thought of as secondary. We really try to prioritize the children here knowing they are being displaced from their home,” said Tia Lurie, the Shelter Operations manager at YWCA Dayton.
There are still some renovations that need to be done. Floors 1 and 2 are expected to be done by the end of 2020.