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Laura’s House celebrates emergency shelter grand opening

The event is the culmination of the Emergency Shelter Rebuild Project in partnership with HomeAid Orange County.

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: December 01, 2011 10:15 AM

Laura Khouri, chair, Laura's House Board
of Directors (L) Rick Lutzky, Lutzky Associates
Development, project developer (M) Margaret
Bayston, Executive Director and CEO for Laura's
House (R)
Laura’s House, an organization committed to providing local shelter services and counseling to women and families impacted by domestic violence and abuse, today celebrates the grand opening of its Emergency Shelter. HomeAid Orange County, the nonprofit arm of the Building Industry Association of Orange County, partnered with Laura’s House in the construction of the shelter.

The Emergency Shelter Rebuild Project increases the organization’s shelter capacity from 28 beds (all of which had been consistently full for the past 12 months) to 44 beds and 10 cribs. Last year, Laura’s House provided 117 adults and 152 children with shelter services. The expanded capacity will enable Laura’s House to serve 175 additional clients per year, an increase of 93 percent.

“HomeAid Orange County has done an amazing job in helping us realize our long-held dream of a new emergency shelter facility, and transitional housing for our Step Ahead program,” said Margaret Bayston, CEO and executive director of Laura’s House. “We are delighted to partner with them in celebrating such an important milestone, and we are also grateful to all of the individuals and businesses who have committed both their time and financial resources to make this dream a reality.”

The new shelter is part of the organization’s Cornerstone Capital Campaign, which was officially launched in September 2010. The goals of the campaign include raising $4.5 million to fund the new emergency shelter and the expansion of the Laura’s House Step Ahead transitional housing program for shelter graduates. More than $3 million has been raised toward the campaign’s goals to date, and the final phase of fundraising will begin in January, when the organization plains to raise the final $1 million it needs to purchase the building that will be the home of the Transitional Housing program.

“HomeAid has enjoyed partnering with Laura’s House to expand its emergency shelter and transitional housing facilities to fulfill the growing need for shelter services for families who are devastated by domestic violence,” said Scott Larson, executive director for HomeAid Orange County. “The strong partnerships that we have established with builders, contractors, developers and service providers have helped to create a warm and welcoming environment where women and children can build lives that are free of violence.”

The grand opening will take place at the Laura's House Resale Store in Lake Forest and include a light breakfast, followed by a ceremony with donors and Laura’s House board members and comments from principal representatives from construction partner HomeAid Orange County. For more information, visit the Laura’s House website.

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