New Beginnings Sexual Assault Support Services is expanding its building space and is looking for more ways to serve the community. New Beginnings offers confidential crisis and long-term therapy services to sexual assault survivors of all ages, as well as their family and friends.
Karla Ward, executive director, said New Beginnings has doubled its staff over the last 12 years between their three locations — going from eight staffers to 15.
The $80,000 expansion will include an additional 700 square feet that will be used for office space at their building on Scherm Road. Hayden Construction has been contracted to build the add-on.
Ward said not only does the added space help with making everyone more comfortable, but it will also give the room for future hires. They have currently requested an additional therapist for the Owensboro office — the demand is high and they only have two on staff.
“We are in the process of hiring an elementary prevention educator that will focus on grades K-5 with the Play It Safe prevention curriculum that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) endorses for promising research evidence,” she said. “This means it shows sustained desirable outcomes for the program in prevention of interpersonal violence.”
Ward said they will be implementing Shifting Boundaries programs in middle schools.
“This is an evidence-based prevention program on violence and has shown proven results for reduction of dating violence,” Ward said.
Another part of their growth involves writing a grant for a group coordinator that will focus solely on support groups for those who have a history of sexual trauma.
“We will be reconfiguring some of our existing space to make room for these groups,” she said. “We will also work with community partners and bring a support group to them if needed. These groups will be tailored to the need. It may involve equine therapy, trauma-sensitive yoga, art therapy and general support groups.”
Construction at the Owensboro office will not interfere with the New Beginnings crisis line, which will remain in service. For more information call 270-926-7273.