Updated: October 23, 2020 06:46 PM
Created: October 23, 2020 05:57 PM
SARATOGA SPRINGS - They've been operating out of a hodgepodge of basement offices in Saratoga Springs for years. By this time next year, Wellspring will have its own building to better serve those who've been abused.
"You can get out and when you get out, stay out," says Pennesia "Penny" Peters, who was a victim of abuse.
When she reached her breaking point, she turned to Wellspring.
She came to the cramped, hard-to-find offices in the Collamer Building where Wellspring staff counseled her and got her and her son a place to stay.
They squeeze in a thousand victims a year here. A corner is the food pantry, and the children's area is also the lobby.
They call the rooms where they provide counseling to victims, "cubbies."
They are so narrow that when you reach out with both arms you touch each wall.
They need a place with windows where victims can be comforted, and they need space to hold classes on how to become self-sustaining.
Wellspring Executive Director Maggie Fronk says they've talked about it for years.
"But then COVID struck," said Fronk.
That was the final push to pull the trigger on an 8,000 square foot building on Route 9 in Malta.
They'll break ground early next month.
"We need space that we can do this work and provide safety from domestic violence and sexual assault while also maintaining health safety," Fronk said.
She says the high-profile location where thousands of cars pass every day will serve as a reminder that they're there to help those like Peters who suffered.
She offers this advice to those who feel trapped: "Go to Wellspring first and speak to a staff member and let them know what's happening."
Wellspring plans to be in the new building in time for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, October 2021.
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