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Fundraising goal raised to $3 million for Gateway’s new shelter
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A dollhouse at the Chattahoochee Country Club shows the furnishing needs for Gateway Domestic Violence Center’s new shelter, which will be occupied by the end of 2020. - photo by Nick Watson

As the Gateway Domestic Violence Center teetered closer to its original fundraising goal of $2.5 million, the board members realized earlier this month that it wouldn’t be enough.

Gateway’s executive director Jessica Butler said the center’s new goal would be $3 million.

“It just became apparent that $2.5 milion wasn’t going to do it. We got a construction estimate during the year last year. … The cost per square foot has gone up since we started this process a few years ago,” Butler said.

What started as a 15,000-square-foot facility is now closer to 17,000 square feet, a shelter that would be close to public transportation and job opportunities.

“It’s still on property where we have room for future growth, so we want this to be our permanent home that can be expanded through the years if the needs change in the future,” Butler said.

The domestic violence center’s current lease expires at the end of 2020, and the current space is often running over capacity.

Gateway already was close to its original goal with $2.19 million raised. The big push came at the end of last year after the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines awarded $720,000 through its Competitive Affordable Housing Program.

Gathered Friday, March 22, at the Chattahoochee Country Club off of Thompson Bridge Road, donors and supporters mingled and placed bids in silent auctions.

Toward the center of the festivities, volunteers worked around a dollhouse encouraging donations to help “furnish hope.”

Co-presenter Elisabeth Baldwin said it would cost at least $80,000 to furnish the shelter, with donation opportunities toward tables, chairs, kitchen appliances, linens and more.

“For about $500, it would provide a bed for a child who has probably never had the chance to sleep in a bed where they didn’t fear throughout the night, where they could feel safe,” co-presenter Dixie Truelove said.

Butler said in December 164 of the 185 donors are individuals.

Anyone interested in how to donate can contact 770-539-9080 or