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Battered women's shelter getting facelift

Published On: Dec 02 2012 04:07:48 AM CST   Updated On: Dec 02 2012 11:42:35 AM CST
JANESVILLE, Wis. -

The kitchen at the YWCA Rock County women's shelter is getting a badly-needed renovation.

The kitchen is among the new upgrades that are pumping new life into the shelter, which is specifically for women who are seeking to rebuild their lives after suffering from domestic abuse.

Although the old kitchen was functional, the YWCA's development director said they wanted to make sure it continued to be a place of comfort to the women looking to start their lives over.

"For most of us a kitchen is probably the most important room in a house," said Jeff Bealles. "It's where people talk, people get together and interact, and it's important that's a nice functional area, and I'd say even more so in a shelter situation."

Carmen and her five children moved in to the apartments two months ago. They're working on their foosball skills while their new kitchen is being completed.

Carmen said she loves to cook and said that living in the apartments has given them an opportunity to come together around a table and meet other families in transition.

The kitchen was originally built in 2001. Now, after thousands of meals, the kitchen is getting new counter tops, new appliances, and a new floor.

About a dozen local contractors with the Southcentral Wisconsin Builders Association donated their time to the project.

"It's unfortunate the community has to have a battered women's shelter, but if it does, we'd like it to look nice,” said project manager Chad Barnes. “This is what we do, this is what we could do as an organization to help Rock County."

After a fresh coat of paint, the kitchen will officially be open, and residents like Carmen said they're excited to come in and use the new space.

Shelter officials plan to put the new kitchen to good use by hosting an open house for the folks who helped make it possible.

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