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September 14, 2017
So much has happened since our last update! At that time, we were still awaiting our building permits and living very much in the hypothetical – examining the designer’s renderings, comparing flooring samples, looking at photographs of furniture. But as you read this, permits have been pulled, demolition has happened, and things are in motion!
What’s taking shape now is about much more than our new office. It’s about building and creating space that will cultivate feelings of warmth, confidence, and safety.
Let’s start at the front door.
Reception and entry – WHY are we doing what we are doing?
Imagine you are a domestic violence survivor seeking help. You’re not prepared to leave your abuser – too many unanswered questions and details to be worked out – and you’ve been told by someone you trust that REACH is a place to turn. That there you will find a listening and compassionate ear, someone who won’t judge you, someone who will lay out the options for you and not pressure you into making any decisions you’re not ready to make. You’ve summoned all of your courage, made an appointment during a time your abuser will be at work, and arrived at the REACH office for your intake appointment with your two small children in tow.
What will you find when you arrive there? Will there be adequate parking? Will you be able to get into the office easily, while pushing one child in a stroller and carrying another, and still limping because of a recent assault? Will the waiting area be comfortable and welcoming? Will the building seem clean and in good repair? Will there be a private space to talk about the intimate and humiliating trauma you’ve been experiencing? Will you feel free to express your fears and pain without worrying about others overhearing? Will the overall setting convey to you that you are valued, and that you deserve respect?
We selected our new office space because it is in a familiar setting – not too far from where we are now. That gives people who have been working with REACH for a while some comfort as they – like us – make the transition from the current office to the new one. When they arrive, there is ample parking. If needed, there is a ramp and an elevator for easy access. When the elevator doors open, there will be a bright, clean lobby and a doorbell to announce your arrival.
We will have double doors that accommodate a stroller – even a double stroller! – and unlike our current space, the new reception area is spacious and neat and inviting. There is enough room for a volunteer to sit at a desk, help with projects, answer the phone, greet visitors at the door, assist with children during advocacy meetings, and more. And we are excited that a new corps of volunteers is already waiting to pitch in.
While waiting, kids can play with toys or read books (there is room for a selection of fun options!) and clean, new, roomy chairs. Our reception space will send the clear message to visitors that they are welcome, valued, and important to us.
We are so grateful for the support of generous donors who have made it possible for us to get this far, and who will help us make it the rest of the way. We hope we can count on your continued support as we face the (somewhat daunting) reality of packing, moving, and adjusting to a new office during the fall – typically our busiest time of year! Please consider visiting www.reachma.org/donate and making a contribution to help strengthen REACH as an organization during this challenging time. Thank you.
Together we will reach beyond domestic violence.