The Van Buren County Domestic Violence Coalition is opening a new office in Covert Township. Coalition Director Melanie Hooker tells WSJM News this will expand the group’s ability to help those in need.
“We’re in Paw Paw, and we’re going to continue to have our offices in Paw Paw,” Hooker said. “The Covert Police Department is actually providing us an office so we can have an office there once a week to service people on that west side of the county better.”
Hooker says if a client is afraid of meeting the coalition at the police department, staff will meet them at the library. She says the group does a lot to help survivors, both women and men, escape domestic violence situations.
“We would help them find a safe place to live. We help them with personal protection orders. We have counselors on staff with free services, and then we do support groups and court accompanyment. We give them clothes and personal care items.”
Hooker says most of the Van Buren County Domestic Violence Coalition’s clients come from the Paw Paw area, followed by South Haven. However, some potential clients can’t get over to the Paw Paw location. They’ll have a bilingual advocate at the Covert location one day a week to start off. The new office will open on January 8.