ANGOLA, Ind. (WANE) – Leaders at a shelter for domestic violence victims want to make life easier for the children who stay there. The TLC-Steuben House is raising money to build a playground on its campus. Around a hundred people attended the shelter’s annual fundraiser Friday night.
Five women and four children currently call the shelter home. The shelter’s executive director, Summer Hulbert, said she sets a new focus every year, and this year’s focus is all about the children and making the house more of a home for them.
“The people in need that come to us are homeless as a result of fleeing that violent home environment. It’s a time to heal in a safe environment and to really grow because we don’t want them to go back to where they were or enter into a new violent relationship,” Hulbert said.
TLC House is the only shelter of its kind in Angola. A local bank donated the house in 2010, and the shelter opened its doors in December 2011.
“Since then, we’ve served 46 women and 42 children,” Hulbert said.
The shelter said simple things like going to the park or playing outside usually aren’t possible in domestic violence situations.
“In domestic violence homes, survival becomes the number one priority and at times, moms can lose that bond with their children,” Hulbert said. “I don’t think, I know, they’re under a lot of stress when they come here because it’s not only the violence that they’ve been living in. There’s usually financial stressors. There’s usually health stressors and things like that.”
It’s stress the shelter works to take away and replace with hope.
“This is a time for them to start their lives over and part of that is strengthening the bond between mother and child,” Hulbert said.
The shelter already has a designated area for kids to play. There’s several toys and a fenced off section, but it’s hoping to build a much larger playground and add more landscaping.
“We’d like to see something more solid like a cedar wood playground set and play equipment that’s suitable for about ages four to seven because that’s the typical age range that we do get at the TLC house,” Hulbert said.
The shelter said the upgrades will offer much more than just a place to play.
“The more we can offer for the children at our facility, the more opportunities their mothers can have to rebuild their relationships with their children in a safe environment,” Hulbert said.
TLC House hopes to build the playground in June. It’ll cost around $2,000. To donate, click here.