Benefiting from a $10,000 Ford Family Foundation grant, Wallowa County’s refuge for battered women and men – Safe Harbors – doubled its operating space July 26 during a two-hour move from the county-owned Community Connection building, in Enterprise, to the basement of the old hospital in Enterprise now owned by a nonprofit subsidiary of Wallowa Resources, WR Stewardship Center LLC.

“The grant money will pay for about 75 percent of our rent for the next 19 months,” said Safe Harbors Director Bobbi Duncan.

According to Duncan, a squad of 30 volunteers from AmeriCorps, of Portland, arrived and orchestrated the move of the 20-year-old nonprofit in two hours.

Formerly running its 4.5 FTE operation out of a 1,143-square-foot space, Safe Harbors now occupies 2,235 square feet of space at its new location.

Yet Duncan’s vision is for the basement of the old hospital only to be a temporary residence. “Our strategic plan calls for us to buy or build a new facility,” she says.

A second grant recently announced with Safe Harbors as its recipient is for $35,732 from the Oregon Department of Justice. For 18 months beginning July 1, 2014, two-year Safe Harbors lead advocate Amy Stubblefield will fill a half-time sexual assault outreach position to the rural communities of Imnaha, Troy, and Flora. Additionally, she will work short hours each week at the high school level of Joseph Charter School.

Working as such an advocate, Stubblefield will focus on educating people in the isolated communities about services available through Safe Harbors.

“We know that sexual assault is something that’s happing in rural areas and not getting reported,”Duncan says. “People don’t have to report incidents to the police, yet they can receive (protective) services from us at no cost. We want to increase referrals and warm handoffs.”

According to Duncan, about 90 percent of Safe Harbors’ clients are female, and 10 percent are male.

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