DADE CITY, Fla. - Officials with the Sunrise Domestic Violence Center in Dade City say they are overcrowded with families, and a planned expansion had costs they weren't expecting.
It makes it difficult for the center that has served Pasco County for nearly 30 years.
Sunrise currently is able to host 26 women and children who are seeking emergency help from domestic violence situations.
It acts as a shelter, it provides basic amenities like food and blankets, and legal paperwork.
Laura Furber stayed at Sunrise for a three-month stretch after finally packing up her kids from an abusive ex-husband of two years.
"If it wasn't for the shelter, my daughter, I wouldn't even know what the situation would be," Furber says.
She remembers the people coming to the center looking for help, and while the center tried its best to help everyone who came, she remembers the overcrowding.
"It became filled. They had to shuffle us around a number of times to accommodate different size families, and different number of children," she said.
The center operates as one of the only two domestic violence shelters in Pasco County, and as such, knows the importance of serving the community.
State grants dried up, and so did donations when the economy took a downturn.
A planned expansion to house up to 40 women and children has gone unbuilt, because the grants dried up, and a fire suppression system the center needed would cost an extra $124,000 they didn't have on hand.
"It's not just Sunrise, it's a lot of our sister centers throughout Florida are at capacity or overflowing as well. It's trend that we're seeing throughout the entire state," says CEO of Sunrise, Kelly Sinn.
Even with the expansion the center says the extra 14 beds would not fulfill the needs of the community, but they're working towards getting the fiscal capability.
Kelly Furber says the help would be much appreciated.
"It changes people's lives and kid's lives."
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