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Crisis center building new shelter

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. - A generous donation from a community member turned a dream into a reality for the Lakes Crisis & Resource Center.

The center that provides advocacy services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, general crime and child abuse received a donation of more than $1.4 million from resident Mary Newman, allowing the center to begin the process of building a new facility.

In honor of Newman's donation, the center's domestic violence emergency safe shelter was named Mary's Place. Newman could not be reached for comment.

The new facility's grand opening will take place today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at noon followed by a public grand opening from 4 to 6 p.m.

"I was initially in shock," Jan Logan, executive director of the Lakes Crisis and Resource Center, said of the donation. "I remember that night I woke up and had to ask myself, 'Did I just dream this?' The next morning I realized very quickly that it was real."


After receiving the go-ahead from the center's board of directors, the focus turned to raising the remaining funds needed to build the facility. Those funds came from a variety of sources, including the Otto Bremer, Mardag and Scheels foundations as well as from local businesses and community members.

At 17,250 square feet, the $2.7 million facility that broke ground last July will be able to house 27 women and children per night. On average, the center provides services to more than 1,200 people per year.

"It's a building that we really had to think about long-range planning and what the community will need in 20 to 30 years," Logan said.

Al Ostby, a center volunteer since 2006, has seen the importance of the facility within the community as well as on a personal level.

"I had an abused daughter, and so when I got closer to knowing the organization, I really wanted to put forth 100 percent and help others," he said.

Ostby and others alike are working hard to make sure the community's needs are met through the services provided by the center.

Becky Aaland, the shelter's director, says the support the center will be able to provide to families will make a significant difference in the community.

"It's a really exciting opportunity to provide that ongoing support for families, to help them move from the crisis that they are experiencing now to a place where they feel hope and safety," Aaland said. "We plan to build resiliency and connect people to resources that are available in this community."


If you go

  • What: Grand opening of the Lakes Crisis & Resource Center
  • When: Today
  • Where: 1339 Pelican Lane, Detroit Lakes
  • Info: A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at noon, followed by a public grand opening from 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Contact: (218) 847-8572
  • Online: www.lakescrisis.com

Readers can reach Forum reporter Emma Murray at (701) 241-5480

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