Sexual assault crisis center in Roanoke readies for expansion

Published: Sep. 15, 2016 at 6:07 AM EDT
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A center for survivors of sexual assault will be celebrating two types of expansion, including a six figure building project.

SARA Roanoke, Inc. will be breaking ground Thursday afternoon on an addition that will almost double their footprint. That allows them to add a training room as well as offices. That will be paid for with grants and donations.

New federal money, though, is helping the organization expand its services.

SARA received an additional yearly bump of $170 thousand dollars for the foreseeable future. That's more than double what they usually get.

That money allows them to add two new staff members. The organization's executive director says it will allow them to provide more counseling, crisis intervention and advocacy services. She says for years, sexual assault programs operated at bare bones. This new money will help change that.

Teresa Berry, SARA Executive Director, said, "We're finally bringing sexual assault and domestic violence services up to the level of funding that they really need to be, it'll get us at least to capacity and in some cases for us to grow."

Groundbreaking on the physical expansion will be Thursday afternoon at 4:00. That's expected to cost $100 thousand and be finished by January 1.