Walk supports shelter for domestically abused - WNEM TV 5

Walk supports shelter for domestically abused

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Credit: CBS Credit: CBS

Cars driving by got the message as the walking crowd of 100 at Kellogg Community College was hard to miss.

Especially Bill Lownsberry, 71, who stands 6’4” in bright red heels.

He has worn out a few pair of heels.

“53 walks since 2008,” Lownsberry said. “I do it enough so my legs don’t get flabby.”

Lownsberry knows the pain domestic violence can cause after he lost two family members from a domestic incident in Niles in 2001.

“She was helping her sister get away from an abusive husband, he caught them at a hotel when they were trying to get away and he shot both of them,” Lownsberry said. “He shot himself too, pretty senseless and no purpose behind it.”

Lownsberry thinks there needs to be more access to services, which is exactly what the Secure Area Family Environment (SAFE) Place shelter in Battle Creek is trying to provide.

“We do walks, we raise awareness, we do events, and yet this is still such an invasive and prevalent part of our society,” said Jessica Adel Harrison, from the SAFE Place shelter.

Harrison said they only have the capacity for about 50 families.

“The need is so great in this area, we basically have to screen for lethality,” Harrison said. “We have to take people who are at very high risk of being killed, and even at that we’re still turning people away. That $20,000 can help us proved safety for victims and their children to stay.”

Lownsberry will keep walking, as long as he can help it.

“There is hope out there, this isn’t going to continue forever,” Lownsberry said.

For more information on SAFE Place shelter, visit their website.

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