BILLINGS — The YWCA broke ground Friday in Billings on a new shelter that will serve countless women who have experienced domestic violence.
In a matter of months, the empty lot at 909 Wyoming Ave. will be home to a new emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence.
“The rise in domestic violence during Covid is very alarming to us because it has not subsided," said YWCA CEO Merry Lee Olson.
Partner and family member assaults rose nearly 40 percent during the Covid-19 pandemic nationally, according to the YWCA. Sexual assaults also rose 40 percent.
This new shelter next to the YWCA’s existing Gateway Emergency shelter will include 25 rooms with 66 beds for victims seeking refuge, as well counseling offices, a food pantry, laundry areas, and indoor/outdoor family areas.
The two-story shelter is expected to open next fall.
Of the $4 million needed for the building, about $2.9 million has already been raised.
It’s a facility that’s expected to save countless lives when it opens.