This Week in the Mercury


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Surrogate Promises: Saltzman's Take On The DV One-Stop

Posted by Angela Webber on Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 1:44 PM

Dan Saltzman
  • Dan Saltzman
Today's paper includes a story about the new one-stop Gateway domestic violence services center, which will open at 102nd and East Burnside on July 20th. The project has received major support from City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who says he threw his support behind the project after hearing about a similar one in San Diego.

Saltzman said that he sees the project as "a sort of surrogate" for one of his campaign promises, to double the number of shelter beds available for victims of domestic abuse:

"It’s not that I’ve given up on that promise, but this is a more immediate project that can complement it. The center is not a shelter service, but it will provide more people with access to that service."

This "complementary" project may not strike true with everyone.

"I'm concerned that the center may empower women to leave [a relationship], to be faced with the harsh reality of no shelter beds being available," said Fay Schuler, director of the West Women's and Children's Shelter.

Shelter turn-aways continue to increase, while funding for DV shelters and services has stayed the same, according to Schuler. The DV one-stop demonstrates an investment by the city and county, but it can't solve the whole problem.

Saltzman understands the problem. "It's true that [the center] may exacerbate the shelter shortage by making longer waiting lines, but the other services it will provide, economic services, counseling, even faith-based counseling, will provide help in a way not accessible before."

Schuler said the center may be able to access an "untapped population" of survivors who "may never have needed to go to a shelter and who may never have to access safe housing." She added, "We are all very hopeful about the center."

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