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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A new domestic violence shelter in Charlotte is getting ready to open and WBTV got an exclusive look inside.
For Kelly Coyne, the shelter's director of residential services, the new 41-thousand square foot building is a dream come true.
The 80-bed facility is a huge upgrade from the cramped 29-bed shelter the city relied on for 33 years.
"Think about how hard that must be to pull into our parking lot and walk in to the space, that's too small, not well light and not adequate enough and make the decision to stay," said Coyne.
But come December, victims in abusive relationships will have a new secure place to call their temporary home.
"If a perpetrator were to get in the building we have the remote opportunity to shut down all the doors," said Coyne.
The shelter is designed to be extra bright and spacious and includes a dining hall, workout room, courtyard, playground and apartment-style suites.
"There is a kitchen, there are sofas in this area, and then you have the two bedrooms and then the bathroom," said Coyne.
Counselors and social workers will work 24/7 to help guide clients through the process of rebuilding their lives.
"This place is designed to be welcoming, to take food, water, safety very seriously and give them their own space where they can work with their kids and really work through the situation together," said Coyne.
Families at the current shelter can only stay for about 30 days. At the new shelter, families will be able to stay for up to one year depending on their needs.
The new shelter cost $10.5 million dollars to build, $8.5 of that was paid for with community donations.
Mecklenburg County funded $1 million and more donations are still coming in.
The shelter is located on West Boulevard in west Charlotte.
For more information contact United Family Services at 704-373-1604.