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Chicago’s Oldest Domestic Violence Center Is Moving To Garfield Park This Year

Connections for Abused Women and their Children will move to Garfield Park to expand its services as domestic violence has increased during the pandemic.

The location of the new Connections for Abused Women and their Children to be established later this year.
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GARFIELD PARK — A Humboldt Park-based domestic violence center, the oldest of its kind in the city, is setting up its new headquarters in Garfield Park. 

Connections for Abused Women and their Children, 1116 N. Kedzie Ave., is moving its shelter and offices to an old industrial building at 3311 W. Carroll Ave.

Executive Director Stephanie Love-Patterson said the shelter is outgrowing its building and the staff want to expand their services to offer more bed space, job placement services, a technology center and homework tutoring for children.

“COVID shined a spotlight on those suffering domestic violence. We really wanna be able to need their needs and offer more services,” Love-Patterson said. “This shelter will have trauma-informed care that will be able to provide counseling, safety and empowerment to give support to survivors of domestic violence that they need and deserve.”

Domestic violence calls increased significantly in Chicago during the height of the pandemic, with 56 percent more domestic violence shootings in the city in 2021 compared to 2020 and 142 percent more than in 2019, according to the Howard Area Community Center in Rogers Park. 

The city allocated $25 million to programs that help domestic violence survivors, which included more housing units and youth services. Advocates have said existing programs need more funding to support employees who help people in need.

“The mandated shutdowns from the pandemic caused a perfect storm for abuse to continue and even escalate,” Love-Patterson said. 

The center was established in 1977, creating Chicago’s first 24-hour emergency shelter and domestic violence hotline. It provides substance abuse treatment with Haymarket Center, 42 shelter beds, mental health counseling for adults and children and court advocacy.

Love-Patterson said the staff plans to remodel the building in Garfield Park to create a three-story facility for social service spaces, a pet shelter to protect animals from abusers and a technology center for job searches. The organization also plans to build a three-story addition to serve as a 45-bed shelter with outdoor patios and laundry rooms, Love-Patterson said.

The new facility, which will break ground later this year, will accommodate the Humboldt Park base and Garfield Park residents, Love-Patterson said. The location will be close to George Washington College Preparatory School as well as several bus stops and the Green Line station.

“It’s helpful when reaching out for services that they’re in your neighborhood,” Love-Patterson said. “We wanted to make sure the new center is accessible to the community.”

People who need to reach the shelter for services can call its hotline at 773-278-4566. To reach the National Domestic Violence Hotline, call 800-799-7233.

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