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Shelter agency raising money for safe doors and windows

Work on the Victims Outreach Intervention Center’s (VOICe) new location in Butler is moving along, but roughly $78,000 is still needed to bring the building up to code.

The agency is raising money to install 21 fire-rated doors and five windows that meet safety standards to prepare its new headquarters on First Street. Executive director Tracy Veri said a campaign will commemorate the buyer of each door, which cost around $3,000 each, by placing a plaque bearing their name.

The building’s renovations are the most challenging aspect of VOICe’s move, Veri said, because grant money the agency receives can’t be used for capital projects or renovations.

“We need a total of like $78,000 for the doors and windows just to bring it up to code,” said Jessica Wasson, outreach and event advocate for VOICe.

The domestic violence shelter moved from its previous location on Cliff Street in Butler in December and is operating only in Cranberry Township. Its administrators are hopeful completion of the new headquarters will help the domestic violence shelter focus on its mission.

Veri said once the new building is ready, the staff of about 30 people will work under the same roof.

She said Butler will be more convenient for clients due to its walkability and access to public transportation.

“A lot of people from Butler don't love to come to Cranberry because they don’t have cars and can’t get around as easily,” Veri said. “Moving to Butler, we will hopefully be able to help a lot more Butler people. They can come to the shelter and keep their job.”

Veri said VOICe will sell its facility in Cranberry once the new building is ready. The sale will help cover some of the costs to bring the new facility up to code. She said it could be ready by May, at which point, walk-in appointments can resume.

“What we'll be able to do under one roof, we can function better as a team for our victims,” Veri said. “We'll just be able to provide them with more services ... It's just a better scenario for everybody.”

Contact Veri at 724-283-8700 ext. 210 for more information about the door and window campaign.

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