Domestic Violence Shelter to Stay Open

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OZARK, Mo. — The only domestic violence shelter in Christian county will stay open after all. Freedom’s Rest has been a part of the Christian county community for years.

Earlier this month, the board voted to close it but after support from those around the community, it will stay open and potentially grow even bigger.

“The initial news that we were closing came out and we did have an outpour from the community.”

Freedom’s Rest is a domestic violence shelter for women near Ozark. Earlier this month, Board President Christie Drew was faced with a tough decision to close up shop.

“This was a vote that came across due to large and daunting repairs that needed to be done to the shelter.”

Drew said the age of the shelter is its biggest obstacle.

“We are facing some major plumbing repairs that need to be done. Those, we believe are going to be somewhere around $40,000,” said Drew.

So, it will be a team effort to keep the doors open.

“We are able to provide shelter and resources for those women so they can get out of those situations.”

Along with the shelter staying open, Neat Repeats, a thrift store which donates its contributions to the shelter, will stay open too but in a different location.

“We take donations from the community and the thrift store sells it.”

Drew said, with the help of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, they will make a long-term plan which could mean a bigger shelter in the future.

“We are going to move forward and work on a plan for sustainability.”

Grants and donations make up Freedom’s Rest budget. Drew said that is the best way the community can help.

“Any support that can be given to work towards our future goals.”

While the community lends a hand, the shelter will do its part to make a difference for those in need.

“In 2015, there was 552 reported cases of domestic violence. So, you are looking at almost two cases a day.”

Drew said the shelter will begin searching for a new executive director after its current one resigns on June 1.

If you would like to help donate or volunteer with the shelter, you can call them 417-582-0344.

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