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Domestic violence center announces contract for new space
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Attendees browse the silent auction during the Gateway to Hope fundraiser for Gateway Domestic Violence Center in Buford, on Friday, March 23, 2018. - photo by David Barnes

Gateway Domestic Violence Center officials announced Friday the organization is almost halfway to its $2.5 million fundraising goal and have a contract in place for a larger facility.

The news came at the nonprofit’s annual Gateway to Hope event at the Chattahoochee Country Club in Gainesville.

“After 18 months of searching and vetting different properties, we have a contract on a property,” Elisabeth Baldwin announced during the program to a round of applause.

Executive Director Jessica Butler said the target is to be in the new space by the end of 2020 and hit the $2.5 million fundraising goal before then.

As of Friday’s event, the campaign had raised $1.12 million.

“We’re so pleased with the support that we’ve gotten from the community. This is a big need for families experiencing domestic violence. We feel really confident with the support we’ve gotten so far that we’re going to reach our goal,” Butler said.

The current shelter was built more than 30 years ago to house 15 people when the county population was around 80,000. As of July 2016, U.S. Census reports estimate roughly 196,000 Hall County residents. 

As a result, the shelter is consistently at or above its capacity.

The minimum 15,000-square-foot facility would need to be close to public transportation and job opportunities.

The lease on Gateway’s current property will expire on Dec. 31, 2020.