First Witness looking ahead to the future with relocation and expansion

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First Witness Child Advocacy Center is outgrowing their home off Lake Avenue. And they have found a new one.

It’s down on the 1400 block of E 2nd street. Chosen because of its location, access to a busline, and neighborhood feel, the buildings will undergo a renovation.

The Restoring Hope capital campaign has been successful already, bringing in nearly $1 million dollars.

“The buildings that we bought are in overall, really good shape. But the transformation from what the buildings were to a child advocacy center and a national training center, that’s what our campaign is about,” Tracie Clanaugh explained. She’s the executive director.

They’ve expanded the programming provided to families as they heal, and that requires more space. Plus they are trying to stop abuse before it starts, by teaching kids about body autonomy and adults about stepping in to help stop abuse.

A bill to provide $1.5 million dollars in funding for the project has been introduced in the legislature.

Rep. Alicia Kozlowski told us she’s really proud to be the lead author in the Minnesota House.

“This project is so important for our community as well as for our state. It’s going to be able to give them an updated facility to make sure more families and more kids can be served,” Kozlowski said.

Senator Jen McEwen is the author on the senate side.

Clanaugh said that their current building was built by the Junior League of Duluth, and gifted to First Witness. Now the Junior League is helping with the new project as well.