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Domestic violence shelter makes improvements following I-Team investigation into living conditions

'The Haven' now in compliance with state regulations
Posted at 1:45 PM, Oct 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-02 18:26:41-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — An I-Team investigation into living conditions at a local domestic violence shelter is getting action, after I-Team investigator Kylie McGivern revealed reports of moldy food, cockroaches and water issues.

Religious Community Services told the I-Team its domestic violence shelter, The Haven, has fixed the issues state inspectors cited.

RECOMMENDED: Former residents call for action after roaches, moldy food found in domestic violence shelters

This summer, former shelter residents came forward about the conditions.

"We're not asking for a 5-star resort, we just want to be able to take a hot shower and not wake up with cockroaches crawling on us in the middle of the night," said Jessica.

The I-Team found an inspection report from the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV), at the time, cited at least 10 safety hazards, including hot water issues, a disconnected kitchen sink, a clogged bathroom drain and bruised fruit that “did not appear to be fresh.”

“There were bugs all over that place – in the kitchen, in the bedrooms, in the closets, bathrooms, everywhere,” said Jessica. “There was also moldy food in the refrigerator.”

The I-Team could not bring cameras inside The Haven, to protect residents and the secure location, but a spokesperson for the shelter said they sent photo evidence to inspectors with the FCADV and is now in compliance.

State inspections domestic violence shelters are unscheduled and happen at least once a year.

RECOMMENDED: Domestic violence resources

This story came from a tip. If you have something you’d like the I-Team to investigate, email or call 1-866-428-NEWS.