AVDA Expands

From left: Ann Vesgo,Bill Branning, Pam O'Brien, Commissioner Steven Abrams and Jean Magrella break ground.

From left: Ann Vesgo,Bill Branning, Pam O’Brien, Commissioner Steven Abrams and Jean Magrella break ground.

With domestic violence in the news these days…we thought we’d share what’s happening on the local front.

AVDA ((www.avdaonline.org) broke ground on an enlarged domestic violence shelter last week.

The existing shelter, which was in a 60-year-old building, has been torn down to ready the site for a new building that will be able to house 43 people.  The new building will increase capacity by an additional 18 beds.  The shelter is in an undisclosed location, for the safety of residents. In order to complete the building, $300,000 must be raised by March of 2015.


In 2013, Delray based AVDA was selected to be one of 11 certified domestic violence centers in the state to receive part of a special allocation of funds to help state-certified domestic violence centers expand their shelter capacity.   State funding will provide approximately 50% of the cost of the project, but the other 50% must be raised by the organization by the May, 2015 deadline, in order to keep state funding.  Thus far, of the $1.2 million goal, over $900,000 has been raised.


“AVDA’s Rebuilding Lives Renewing Hope Campaign is all about listening to the needs of those we serve and the community.  We are addressing a critical and immediate need with this campaign,” Pam O’Brien, President and CEO of AVDA said.  “AVDA is the only domestic violence program with extended shelter services in Palm Beach County.”


Major donations thus far include a donation of stock for $250,000 by an anonymous donor as well as numerous private donations and a challenge donation of $50,000 from a private family foundation.


Currently, AVDA shelters over 400 people and provides help to over 8,600 people annually.  It is the 5th largest shelter in the state of Florida, in terms of capacity and is one of the very few shelters with comprehensive services, including helping survivors provide for themselves once they leave the shelter, and providing school wellness checks and shots for children at the shelter.


The organization’s mission is to promote violence-free relationships and social change by offering alternative choices to end violence and domestic abuse.


AVDA provides a Community of Hope through its state-certified domestic violence center that offers a comprehensive array of services for all victims of domestic violence including; a 24 hour crisis hotline, emergency and transitional housing, advocacy, counseling and support to help people live violence-free and self-sufficient lives. AVDA also works throughout the community to educate and engage people of all ages in our commitment to prevent violence.


AVDA’s Health and Wellness program offers group trainings on matters concerning health, nutrition and exercise. In collaboration with FAU School of Nursing, a nurse-practitioner is on-site monthly to provide individuals physical medical care consultations, including vaccinations for residents.  Residents in the shelter can also participate in Anne’s STEPS, a nationally recognized economic empowerment program to help residents become financially self-sufficient.


In addition, AVDA offers training to healthcare professionals, law enforcement personnel, social services agencies, employers and community groups on the topic of domestic violence.  Each training or talk is tailored specifically to the needs of the group or organization.


AVDA has perfect audits for the past eleven years and is certified by Nonprofits First.


For more information about AVDA’s services, please visit www.avdaonline.org or call (561) 265-3797.

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