CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - One in three women is affected by domestic violence in their lifetime.
Advocates in Caddo Parish say the need continues to go up. Project Celebration, Inc. can currently house 21 people at its safe house in Caddo Parish.
"We are definitely in need of more housing, more beds, more opportunities for women trying to get out of unsafe relationships," said advocate Allie Dillon.
Project Celebration, Inc. is our state-appointed agency that provides domestic violence services and outreach in Northwest Louisiana.
Louisiana is currently number 3 in the nation for domestic violence homicides. Caddo Parish leads the entire state in domestic violence fatalities. Most domestic violence fatalities happen when a victim finally decides to leave an abuser.
"The need is so great that sometimes we are having to turn away families because we just don't have any room," explained Dillon.
A new PCI shelter for Caddo Parish will soon help the agency house more women and families and connect those people with resources and trained counselors.
"These women need to be in our safe house because we are a domestic violence program. If they go somewhere else that is not a domestic violence program, they won't be getting the same needs and the same accommodations they would get at our shelter and safe house."
A $400,000 dollar grant from the city of Shreveport made the new shelter possible. Project Celebration, Inc. is matching 25 percent of the grant through fundraising and community donations.
Renovations on the building where the new shelter is located should be complete by the end of this year
"We're so excited that we are going to be able to help so many women, and that they are going to be able to get back on their feet, and live their lives out the way they deserve."
The agency recently launched a Go-Fund-Me page so people can readily give any amount they want to help fund the new shelter.
Project Celebration, Inc. is also gearing up for the "Shine the Light On Sexual Assault 5k 2018." It will take place on April 13th at 6 p.m. at LSUS. It will also help support Project Celebration, Inc, its' programs and the new shelter.
The agency is seeing more calls about sexual assault recently because of the "Me Too" movement.
"We're seeing a lot more of it, and we just want the community to know that this is happening because a lot of people don't think it is," said advocate Amber Webster, who is organizing the 5K.
If you are a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, call Project Celebration, Inc. for help.
State hotline: 1-888-411-1333
Local hotline: 318-226-5015
Sexual Assault hotline: 318-227-7900