Oklahoma City's Family Justice Center on track for late fall opening
Oklahoma City's forthcoming Family Justice Center is being assembled in record time, with the soft opening expected about a year after plans were announced.
The first temporary location will be inside the former Northcare facility, 1140 N Hudson Ave. A letter of intent has been signed to occupy the building from September of this year until September of 2018, Project Director Kim Garrett said.
Hiring for the center's newly created positions are also ongoing this summer, she said.
The plan is to renovate and open the temporary center quickly while exploring plans for the final site. It has not been decided whether the center will be a renovated building or new construction.
“We've got so much momentum and support right now, it would be a shame to wait, so I think it's important to move forward,” Garrett said.
The center received a $1.1 million Victims of Crime Act grant, has been pledged $350,000 from the Inasmuch Foundation and $30,000 from Verizon, she said.
The center will be a comprehensive facility where victims of domestic violence can access resources. It will bring together police detectives, prosecutors, therapists and numerous other professionals and resources under one roof.
A community build for renovations to the center will likely occur in late September, she said.
“Instead of just having a contractor go in there, community agencies and businesses and survivors are pulling together to make this happen,” Garrett said.
They hope to open the doors to the first patrons in October or November. If they make their deadline, it will be the quickest opening of a new Family Justice Center in the program's history.
While some plans likely will take years to complete, it's vital that as much ground be laid as quickly as possibly to get people the help and they need and save lives, she said.