MONTICELLO, Ill. (WCIA) — An organization which serves domestic violence survivors is making some big changes. Willow Tree Missions is selling its shelter house. They’re looking for a space that better fits what they need.
This would just affect the shelter where victims stay, not their resale shop. The shelter has three bedrooms and a space downstairs where the shelter mom can stay. Organization leaders say a need for shelter care isn’t their big focus anymore.
Willow Tree Missions has met the needs of domestic victims for more than five years. The organization is supported by its resale shop in Monticello.
“Because our funding source is the resale shop, we have the freedom to look at them individually and help them in whatever way is going to help this person the most,” Willow Tree Missions Director Rachel LeJeune.
In addition to food, shelter, and clothing, the organization provides legal support.
“Maybe their abuser is in jail, maybe they don’t safehouse protection, but they need systems to help them get into their own place.”
That’s why they’re looking for a new home that’s better fit for their growing needs.
“This is a great resource., but it’s also a great past resource. It’s something that’s not utilitized the way it was designed in the first place, and not as efficient for what it should be,” said Monticello Police Chief and Willow Tree Missions Board President John Carter.
In 2017, the organization served 12 people. In 2018, that number jumped to 61. They’re expecting the number to increase again in 2019.
“Those victims have always been there; those people have always needed help, they just didn’t have, they weren’t getting the help they needed,” said LeJeune.
They don’t have an exact time for when they hope to find a new place, but they believe they’ll know it when they see it.
“This is the first step. We will just see where the road takes us. We believe the right thing will be out there when we’re ready for it.”
The resale shop will be staying open through the organization’s transition. This sale will not affect that shop.