The JJ SafeHouse rehabilitation center for female victims of domestic violence won’t open until there’s enough cash on hand to cover one year of operations.
“We’re not opening those doors until I have one year of operations in the checking account,” Jennifer Panczyszyn, chairman and founder of the group, said Monday, July 8.
She estimated the oneyear operating budget for the house at $100,000.
“There’s a lot of non-profits that open on a shoestring, and they can’t stay open. That’s just not advantageous to anyone to have us do that,” she said.
“So we’re all committed that we’re not opening those doors and filling (the house) with people until we have a minimum of one year.
“We haven’t even started fundraising for operations. We have a fundraiser coming up– our annual golf outing– but that’s all we have at this point.”
In the meantime, work continues at the house at 404 Union Street.
The home was donated to JJ SafeHouse by a local family in the summer of 2017.
Refurbishing has been underway, preparing the house to host as many as three women and their children for up to a year.
Panczyszyn said the house is being remodeled with allvolunteer labor and many donated materials, part of the reason the project has taken so long.
“We just had the painters come around and volunteer the paint and the actual labor, and painted the entire inside of the house,” she said.
“Everything had to be repainted because we had allnew drywall.
“Everything that you can think of has been replaced. We’re at the last piece right now, which is the floors.”
That includes all new sub-floors that need to be replaced, “which is to be expected. It’s an older house,” she said.
A volunteer is lined up to install the flooring.
“The gentleman who’s doing the floors for us is volunteering for almost all of it. We’re just paying for the actual flooring itself,” she said.
“Once they get the floors done, they have to come back and finish them and paint the trim, but then that should be it. Then we can start filling the house with bedding.
“We have brand new mattresses for every room.
“We put sinks and mirrors in every single room as well, along with ceiling fans and door locks– you know, all of those things.”
There are new doors, new windows, and a new kitchen.
“The kitchen is gorgeous,” she said.
Plans call for the Archbold house to provide a home for up to three women and their children for a year– two years, if need be.
“Our intention is to help them find a job. There will be career counseling and parenting counseling. The standard operating procedures of the house will be reflective of that,” she said.
“They will be signing a commitment coming in, of what the expectations are.
“We’re committed to helping to get (domestic violence victims) back on their feet and be fully rehabilitated, to be able to stand on their own.
“Healthy diet counseling, financial counseling, job counseling, we know whatever it is they need, the idea is they will have that.
“We’re not going to provide that; we’re going to make sure they have access to all of that. And we’re going to expect (they) will attend.”
A Fulton County native, Panczyszyn said, “I was a child of domestic violence, so it’s a been a little bit of a passion of mine.”
JJ SafeHouse “kind of fell into my lap,” she said.
In 2015, a friend donated a glass collection and said, “’Go ahead and start the safe house with this, and do what you can.’”
Since then, JJ SafeHouse has paid to temporarily put female domestic violence victims in hotel rooms for safety.
“We’re not going to stop that,” Panczyszyn said.