LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW)—35 years ago community members created New Horizons shelter for women; Wednesday evening they held a gathering to look back at their time in La Crosse.
Sue Mercier said she got the idea for New Horizons when she attended a conference at the University on battered women.
She said she asked a few people if there was a need in the community for a shelter and they decided to form a committee.
The first shelter was in space donated by the hospitals; women could call a hotline if they needed help and a volunteer would go pick them up.
Eventually, they got the first house on Main Street in La Crosse for the shelter.
At that time, Mercier said no one had heard of domestic violence.
"It was there all the time," Mercier said. "There were no facilities for the woman so she felt trapped especially if she had children but even if she didn't have children there was a stigma involved."
Since then, New Horizons has turned their Main Street shelter into an outreach center, and have expanded to Trempeleau County as well.
Mercier said the good news is after 35 years the shelter is still here, the bad news is the shelter is here.
She would rather eliminate the problem.
If you need help with domestic violence you can call their crisis line at 1-888-231-0066.
Click here for more information on New Horizons.
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