A Tulsa organization that helps victims of domestic violence is moving. The Family Safety Center will relocate to better consolidate resources and allow people to get all the help they need in one location.
FSC is constantly looking for ways to support its clients without adding stress to an already stressful situation. Relocating next to the Child Abuse Network could mean a more welcoming environment with greater access to resources.
The organization has been working out of the basement of the Tulsa Police Municipal Courts building for nine years, which is a space that once housed old holding cells for the jail. Executive Director Suzann Stewart said it couldn't be any safer, but that's not always the public's perception.
"At one of our entrances is the entry to the city jail and at the other entry is the sex offender registration office,” Stewart said. “A lot of people don't feel safe.”
FSC helped 7,600 adults and more than 2,000 children in 2019 and those numbers continue to increase.
Stewart said the current space is just too small. The center is partnering with the Hardesty Family Foundation to build a new two-story 6,500 square foot building at 28th and Sheridan.
"Parking was plentiful. We could secure it. Transportation was good. We had good bus access. Great highway access," Stewart said.
FSC will soon call the Child Abuse Network its neighbor.
"We have to go through the same permutations everybody else does in the general public about calling 911 or DHS or the police in order to get a referral into child abuse network and it can take days," Stewart said.
Child Abuse Network President and CEO Maura Guten said being a sidewalk away is invaluable.
"We're thrilled about the notion that kids and families will be able to be served at the same time on the same property," Guten said.
This new partnership could lead to a streamlined system for help.
"Side by side," said Stewart. "It'll be a whole new way of delivering services in a seamless way to the same families who are affected by all of this violence and abuse."
Construction is expected to begin next year with plans to wrap up toward the end of 2023.