Interact signs partners, advances in drive

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — Interact has reached the three-fifths mark in its campaign to raise $5 million for its new facility in the former YWCA building on Oberlin Road in Raleigh and has signed up four new partners to help provide the “wraparound” services the agency plans to offer victims of domestic violence.

With $300,000 from the City of Raleigh, $150,000 from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in Winston-Salem, and $50,000 from The Redwoods Group in Research Triangle Park, Interact now has raised $3 million in its campaign.

Chaired by Josh Stein, a special deputy state attorney general overseeing consumer protection, and Christine Young, Triangle area  executive for First Citizens Bank, the campaign also has received gifts from individuals, family foundations and other businesses.

Interact wants its new building to serve as a one-stop shop for children and families who are victims of domestic violence, providing services in partnership with other agencies.

“We are creating what we believe will be a national model program for effective and efficient delivery of services to domestic-violence victims,” says Adam Hartzell, executive director. “Key to that is the idea of providing wraparound services that will meet their full needs to be able to succeed in restarting their lives free of violence.”

YMCA of the Triangle, which previously had agreed to lease roughly 18,000 square feet in Interact’s new quarters, will operate an after-school and summer day-camp program, should be able to move into the building’s first floor in July, Hartzell says.

With Angerio Design serving as architect and Inland Construction serving as general contractor, Interact and its other partners should be able to occupy the remainder of the renovated building by February 2008, Hartzell says.

Those partners include the domestic violence unit of the Raleigh Police Department, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, Wake Health Services, Legal Aid of North Carolina, and YWCA of the Greater Triangle.

The entire 12-person domestic violence unit of the Raleigh Police, including investigators and counselors, will occupy 1,500 square feet in the new building.

The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle will operate the commercial kitchen in Interact’s new building, providing nutritional seminars and culinary-skills vocational training for Interact clients.

The two agencies also will develop a business plan to launch joint income-producing ventures such as a catering business, Hartzell says.

Wake Health Services will provide services for Interact clients at a medical clinic in the new building that also will serve as a point of entry to the medical system for clients who are uninsured or underinsured.

To avoid detection, abusers typically keep their victims from seeking medical care, Hartzell says, so providing access to care is critical because many victims have injuries or illnesses that go untreated.

Legal Aid, which already provides clinics for Interact clients several times a month, also has secured space in the new building to give it the option of expanding its services to Interact clients.

And the YWCA, which previously had agreed to be a partner, will occupy roughly 1,000 square feet and operate a program for women in transition from difficult living situations.

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