DENVER —** The Rose Andom Center, Denver's first location to support domestic survivors by housing numerous services and agencies under the same roof, will mean many things to many people.
Hosting two dozen social and human service agencies in addition to safe spaces for children and family members, the center had its grand opening Tuesday and is a vital addition to the community.
"This wonderful center […] will bring together organizers and government agencies under one roof to provide for the needs of individuals and families affected by domestic violence," Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said. "By colocating staff and crucial services in one place, these organizations and agencies will not only be able to provide more and better coordinated services, but victims and their families will also be able to access the full range of support and services they need in a single, safe location.
"The Rose Andom Center is there for time of crises. It is a place for refuge and it couldn't have been done with the help of all of you in this room, and of a community — a very compassionate community — and, of course, generous donors."
Brandon Marshall and his family helped put together a clothing drive for the Rose Andom Center and survivors of domestic violence.
The prolific leaders who helped it come to fruition embodied how widespread the center's impact can be.
For Rose Andom, a prominent local entrepreneur and an advocate for domestic violence survivors, the building means safety for people who have survived domestic violence, just like she did.
"Having been a victim myself, I couldn't think of a better way to help the citizens of Denver," Andom said. "This is really, in my mind, the beginning. This is going to start to help people. We're ending one phase, but we're starting the most important phase."
For Hancock, whose sister was killed in an act of domestic violence, the building is about providing help to close family or friends.
"Unfortunately, just about everyone in this room has encountered domestic violence either directly or indirectly in our lives," Hancock said. "Putting a stop to domestic violence is a top priority in Denver and now the Rose Andom Center is here to provide access to services so victims of domestic violence will have a place to meet their needs."
And for Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey, it's about all that and also about helping the children who suffer in families affected by domestic violence.
"It's that kid who's hiding. It's that kid that, when his father comes to the door, he knows it's going to be a long night. He knows, or she knows, that he's going to have to listen to what their mother has to go through."
Among the donors who helped fund the facility and its operation is Denver Broncos Charities, which donated $150,000 to the flagship community partner.
"The piece that caught me the most was the tangible impact. When you see the faces of the survivors of domestic violence and family members, that created a pretty strong picture for us," said Cindy Kellogg, Denver Broncos Vice President of Community Development. "Our platform and the strength of our platform can ignite conversation. To me, that's also a win. And I hope that will be one of the things that comes out of our involvement – to make the conversation more mainstream and for people to be able to engage in an active manner around addressing it."
The Rose Andom Center expects to help thousands of people every year, based on approximately 3,000 domestic violence cases the Denver district attorney's office addresses each year. Office space is provided to public agencies including the Denver Police Department's Domestic Violence Investigation Unit, its Victim Assistance Unit, Denver County Cour Probation Victim Assistance and many more public and private agencies.