This morning I attended the Portland City Council meeting where funding for a One Stop Domestic Violence Service Center was unanimously approved by the council. Councilman Dan Saltzman has been working on a feasibility study of a one-stop center since last year when he gave TACS the job of finding out what would work best for Portland. Through six focus groups with survivors (2 in Spanish, 1 in Russian), 2 focus groups with service providers, and various other interviews and site visits with similar programs, the study found that what works best is a center with a victim-centered approach that allowed survivors to pick and choose what services they work with in the center. Potential available services include community-based advocates, DHS workers, law enforcement, and folks from the District Attorney's office.
Imagine -- taking public transportation to one place where you can work with an advocate on a safety plan; file a restraining order; and apply for TA-DVS and TANF -- all while someone watches your kids for you! Portland is one step closer to this reality after today's vote.
During the council meeting, Councilman Sam Adams brought PWCL into the conversation about 3 times, once even finding us by Googling "domestic violence, Portland" from his seat. Apparently, he thinks we're real important to our community.