Efforts to create a single location offering services and assistance to victims of child abuse and their families received a boost Monday when Cox Communications donated $150,000 to the Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County.
Some of the money will go toward operating expenses, executive director Diana Schunn said, but the majority will be set aside for the center's new home — whenever and wherever that may be.
"We are just beyond words for this amazing gift," Schunn said in a statement.
It's the largest single donation to the center in its nearly three years of existence.
Officials of the center have looked at more than 50 buildings around the city, Schunn said in an interview, but they have yet to find one that would meet their needs even after renovation.
"We're exploring the option of building a new building," she said. "One of our major challenges is to make sure it's accessible and has enough space for growth."
The center works about 2,500 cases a year, she said, but the various investigation and service branches are on three different floors of the Finney State Office Building — and that doesn't include other support services scattered throughout the city.
Schunn wants all of those elements brought under one roof, so victims don't have to tell their story over and over, and communication between the various aspects of the cases can be efficient.
The new center will need to include separate entrances and parking areas so victims and suspects don't cross paths.
Schunn said she's not sure how much it will take to build such a center, or even how soon it could happen.
A pre-assessment study is under way to determine how much it might cost and to identify potential donors, she said.