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New Beginnings Transitional Shelter

Pee Dee Coalition opened New Beginnings Transitional Shelter for abused women and their children on June 1 in the newly renovated Thurman-Steele House in Marlboro County.  New Beginnings Transitional Shelter includes a 5,159 square-foot, two-story house, five acres of fenced land, a children’s playground, and a gated-electronic entrance security system to provide a comfortable and safe environment for up to 12 women, including children. The Marlboro County facility represents an important addition to the Coalition’s existing emergency shelter program—which began in 1989 with an emergency safe shelter at an undisclosed location—and now enables the Coalition to provide safe living space on a temporary basis for up to 37 survivors.

When an abused woman has stayed in an emergency shelter for the maximum number of days, or has left an abusive situation and is no longer in crisis, she may have nowhere to go. At New Beginnings Transitional Shelter, such women and their children can have a place to live and access to support and resources for up to 18 months, so they can develop the life skills necessary to live independently.

Developing life skills and securing resources to live self-sufficiently takes time. A survivor may be on a waiting list for housing, trying to find employment and/or working to secure safe transportation. She may need to complete her education, open a bank account or get a driver’s license. Regardless of the specific needs, the reality is that abused women and their children sometimes need transitional shelter and services for an extended period. New Beginnings Transitional Shelter offers survivors that time and those opportunities.

“Recovering from an abusive relationship requires building a new life, and starting over is not always easy,” says Janice Hamlin, New Beginnings Shelter Services Coordinator. “This takes time in a safe and supportive environment such as New Beginnings." Made possible through support from the Victims of Crime Act, as well as private donations and volunteer assistance from the community, New Beginnings Transitional Shelter offers the location as well as professional support services.

A public event to celebrate the shelter’s opening is being planned for fall, in conjunction with Domestic Violence Awareness Month. At that time, Pee Dee Coalition will also host a ceremony to formally commemorate the shelter’s playground, which is being named “Iyana’s Playground” in memory of eight-year-old Iyana Lowery and her mother Ella, who were murdered in Marlboro County earlier this month.

Support New Beginnings

For more information, please contact Janice Hamlin at jhamlin@peedeecoalition.org or 843-669-4964.

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