12/01/06 — Lighthouse closing -- women can still call for help to escape violence

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Lighthouse closing -- women can still call for help to escape violence

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on December 1, 2006 1:46 PM

The Lighthouse of Wayne County Inc. might have shut down operations earlier this week, but county officials say victims of domestic violence have not been abandoned.

"What we've decided to do is to see if we can reroute calls from The Lighthouse to Eastpointe (Mental Health)," Wayne County Department of Social Services Director Judy Pelt said.

The goal, she continued, is to place a message on The Lighthouse's answering machine directing people to Eastpointe's 24-hour help line.

"That (The Lighthouse) is where the community knows to call so we want to attempt to put some sort of message on their answering service," Mrs. Pelt said.

Lighthouse Board of Directors member Cindy Sanford confirmed that the shelter's phone lines would remain open. That number is 736-1313. To reach Eastpointe's help line directly, call 1-800-913-6109.

From there, Social Services and Eastpointe will assess the caller's situation and if necessary, help place him or her in one of the 16 shelters surrounding Wayne County.

"What we're trying to do is just handle the cases of those victims of domestic violence in need of sheltering," Mrs. Pelt said.

Those women and families living in The Lighthouse's safehouse when the doors closed Tuesday morning were taken to those nearby shelters.

For now, Mrs. Pelt said, this is the best they can do.

"It's something we can throw together really, really fast," she said. "This is a real short-term solution.

"We'll be looking for a longer-term solution, but I think that'll depend on what the board of the Lighthouse decides to do."