Donors thanked for supporting new safe house

The agency, 180 Turning Lives Around, recently held a recognition event to thank the major donors and community supporters of a new safe house for Monmouth County victims of domestic violence. The shelter is scheduled to open by March.

Among the supporters recognized at the gathering were 180’s closest community partners, including the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, Faith and James Knight Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. William Luby, Mr. and Mrs. Philip D. Murphy, New Jersey Natural Gas, Dr. Robert and Joan Rechnitz and Verizon.

A classic car show and concert last year also provided significant funding for construction of the safe house.

The location of the new shelter is not being disclosed to protect its clients. The facility will be able to house 45 clients and children at one time, which is up from 25 at the current shelter. More than 400 families were turned away over the past five years due to the smaller capacity of the older shelter.

The new facility features 12 individual family bedroom suites with private baths, communal kitchen, dining and living areas, laundry facilities, a teen recreation room, two art-therapy studios, counseling rooms, a computer/library resource room, individual storage units for each family, an outdoor playground and garden.

180 Executive Director Anna Diaz-White lauded the work of Capital Campaign Chair Eileen O’Hern Luby, who passed the compliments to her entire committee.

“This committee was instrumental in raising the money for this safe house,” said Luby in a press release. “Our current shelter is safe and clean, but our new one is a real home. Ten years ago, (former Board of Trustee President) Phil Murphy said, ‘We can do better.’ And we have done better. We have done our job.”

Additional funds will be needed to furnish the building and provide counseling, therapy, transportation and court-assistance services to families. A 40th anniversary Celebration fundraiser is slated for April 15 to supplement the operational costs of the safe house and 180’s programs. For more information about the April fundraiser, contact Lynn Lucarelli, director of development, at lynnl@180nj.org.