Traverse City Record-Eagle

March 27, 2013

Safe Haven hopes for grant

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan is one step closer to receiving funding for its two Safe Haven centers that provide a neutral drop off point for children in abusive or volatile family situations.

The Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners recently voted to apply for the $500,000 federal grant. Board Chairman Herb Lemcool said if the grant is approved, the county will contract Child and Family Services to continue operating its supervised visitation and safe exchange centers.

“I think this is a great way for Grand Traverse County to collaborate with a nonprofit to provide a service,” he said.

Child and Family services operates two Safe Haven centers in Traverse City and Mancelona that serve their surrounding counties.

Child and Family Services CEO Jim Scherrer said the centers are both child-focused and safety-focused. He said they help provide continuity for children while keeping the parents separate.

“The two parents involved in the domestic violence relationship don’t have contact with each other,” he said.

If approved — officials will learn its status in September — the grant will provide three years of funding for both centers. The Traverse City center started nine years ago and has been funded by federal sources for the past three.

“Current federal funds can only be used for the Traverse City site,” Scherrer said. “Now when we write the next grant, it will include federal funding for both sites.”