New DVS shelter offers hope to struggling families

Nov 14, 2013
Photo by: Paul Archipley Part of a large group crowds outside the new DVS Confidential Shelter and Service Center to listen as Executive Director Vicci Hilty, center, leads a celebration of the shelter’s grand opening.

Borrowing from a popular scene in “It’s A Wonderful Life,” Executive Director Vicci Hilty last week christened the opening of the new home for Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County.

With more than 100 supporters looking on, Hilty reminded them of the scene when George & Mary Bailey welcome the Martini family to their new home.

Handing each item to the Martinis as she spoke, Mary Bailey said:

“Bread… that this house may never know hunger.

“Salt… that life may always have flavor.

“And wine… that joy and prosperity may reign forever.”

Too many of the women and children who have turned to Domestic Violence Services for help have known hard lives, full of hunger, and lacking flavor, joy or prosperity.

But now, at the new, 52-bed shelter in Everett, DVS will be able to help many more of those in need.

The Nov. 6 ribbon cutting attracted dignitaries who had worked for eight years to make the new shelter possible, including Congressman Rick Larson, Snohomish County Executive John Lovick, County Councilmembers Brian Sullivan and Stephanie Wright, and Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson.

“What a banner day,” Stephanson said. “I wish we didn’t have to have facilities like this, but thank God we do.”

“I look forward to the day when we don’t have to come here,” Lovick said. “We have to make sure we get the message out that domestic violence is not acceptable in this community.”

“Domestic Violence Services is a place of hope, of love,” Larson said, “where people can gain the ability to be full participants in our society.”

Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County is dedicated to ending domestic abuse by providing a range of services to victims of domestic violence and by facilitating change.

Founded in 1976 by a small group of women, DVS today offers a range of services to address domestic violence, including a 24-hour hotline that answers nearly 6,000 calls per year, an emergency shelter for women and children, shelter referral for male victims, transitional housing, support groups, a children’s program, and legal advocacy.

Although the new shelter is open, needed support is ongoing. To learn how you can help, go to

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