LEWISTOWN - The Abuse Network along with several other organizations are getting ready to begin their big move into a brand new building adjacent to Rec Park.
The new building is owned by Mifflin Juniata Special Needs, and The Abuse Network will have approximately 5,500 square feet of space for offices and their shelter services.
The shelter services provided by The Abuse Network are for the victims of domestic and sexual violence.
Sentinel file photo
Workers put the finishing touches on the Community Partners Allied Social Services Building, across the street from Rec Park in Lewistown.
"It' not a homeless shelter, completely different from that. There seems to be some confusion over the kind of shelter the Abuse Network provides," The Abuse Network Executive Director Bruce Harlan said.
Mifflin Juniata Special Needs Executive Director Beth Zong said she hopes to have the first wave of tenants move into the Community Partners Allied Social Services building by Monday.
In addition to The Abuse Network, there will be several other agencies that will open offices in the new building, including Juniata Valley Tri-County Drug and Alcohol Commission and the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit.
In the past 24 years, The Abuse Network has helped 13,000 victims of domestic violence and 3,000 victims of sexual assaults. In addition, The Abuse Network had 1,000 programs offered in the community, reaching 18,000 people, and 1,300 programs in the schools, reaching 65,000 school children. For more information, call the Mifflin County Office at 242-0715 or stop by 217 E. Third St. in Lewistown. The Juniata County Office can be reached at 436-2402 or stopping by 22 N. Fourth St., Mifflintown.
"We're also working with some other additional agencies that are not committed yet," Zong said.
"Were doing a gradual move ... The Abuse Network will be one of the last organizations to move in October," Zong said of staggered process of giving everyone in place.
Zong said while the construction workers are busy finishing up the outside of the building, volunteers are helping to paint the inside.
Zong said the volunteers have put in a lot of hard work, which is greatly appreciated.
Between now and October, Harlan along with the rest of his staff are making the necessary preparations so the transition to the new building is as smooth as possible.
Harlan said there is quite a bit to do between now and October and he hopes the community can help with the transition.
The Abuse Network needs help with several aspects of the move into the new building, including transportation and redecorating.
"It could be a really nice project for a church group," Harlan said.
"We're asking businesses, churches or organizations to sponsor a room by helping to furnish, decorate or make donations," he said. "They can be as involved as they want to be."
"Many people support us through the United Way and if that's what someone plans to do, that is greatly appreciated," Harlan said of the partner agency.
"We are also looking for community members to be ambassadors to go out and talk with the public about our program," Harlan said of another way people can help the organization.
In addition to the needed manpower and other odds and ends, people also can help The Abuse Network by purchasing a gift card for Giant Foods or Weis Markets.
"It doesn't cost anymore than it would if you bought it from the store," Harlan said, adding that a portion of the proceeds from the cards goes to The Abuse Network.
The gift cards are available in a variety of denominations and can be ordered through The Abuse Network staff or volunteers.