FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) --The Peace at Home Family Shelter that serves hundreds of victims of domestic violence every year has expanded to accommodate more people.
A ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday (Sept. 6) marked the official opening of the shelter's second floor expansion, though it actually opened to clients in June.
Construction started on the facility at its undisclosed location last fall. Work continued over the next year on the attic of the building, which increased the number of beds by 16 to a total of about 60.
Within 24 hours of opening, the shelter had so many crisis calls that all beds were filled.
Peace at Home helps about 1,500 people through many services like legal or job help, but accommodates about 400 women, children and sometimes men inside the shelter.
During planning and construction, domestic violence victims were consulted about what they would like to see included in the addition to make the shelter feel more like home.
Teresa Mills, chief executive officer of Peace at Home, called the shelter a temporary home for people at a time of crisis.
"People have a right to be safe in their own homes, and unfortunately, there are so many women, children and some men who simply do not have that luxury," Mills said.
With an increase in the population of Northwest Arkansas sadly comes with the increased need for domestic violence shelters.
Mills said she would live to work herself out of business, but knows that won't happen.
"If that's not going to be the wish that I'm going to get, then what I want is to ensure that every person who calls gets the support and resources they need," Mills said.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, the shelter offers a crisis hotline at 479-442-9811, or toll free at 877-442-9811.