Someplace Safe to change name

HOWLAND — As Someplace Safe is in the process of moving this year into the former Beatitude House off Tod Avenue, it will be given a new name to honor a local woman whose work has helped changed the lives of local residents.

The “Sister Stella Shelter for Domestic Violence” was announced as the new name at a recent capital campaign fundraiser held by Someplace Safe at Avalon Inn in Howland.

Mary Swift, board chairwoman, said the 15th annual fundraiser raises money to help with day-to-day needs and operations and will help cover costs for Someplace Safe to purchase the former Beatitude House A House of Blessing building.

Bonnie Wilson, executive director, said the move from one building to another will take place shortly.

“This change in location will allow us to go from 11 bedrooms to 27 bedrooms. This gives us the opportunity to double our capacity,” Wilson said.

Someplace Safe has been at its location off Tod Avenue since 1998.

Wilson said Beatitude House is still offering programming and housing in Mahoning and Ashtabula counties, but no longer at the Trumbull site.

She said Sister Stella Schmid has been involved in some way for the past 30 years with Someplace Safe.

“She is the reason we have our current location. She was instrumental with helping us get our current site because it was given to us by the Sisters of the Humility of Mary,” she said.

Swift said the fundraiser had 240 people in attendance.

Schmid at one time in the 1980s had lived at Beatitude House when it was a convent before Beatitude House bought it and remodeled it.

Swift said Schmid was told of the naming of the new location in her honor at the event.

Schmid said there are people who are helped at Someplace Safe on a daily basis.

“This event is what helps support the work being done at Someplace Safe,” said Wilson.

“The move to the current Beatitude House site will allow us to double our capacity to provide temporary, emergency shelter and needed services for adults and children experiencing domestic violence in Trumbull County,” Wilson said.

She said when she heard Beatitude House was no longer going to be located in Warren, it was an opportunity for Someplace Safe.

The building at one time was used as a convent for the old St. Joseph Hospital and the Sister of Humility of Mary operated the hospital.

Wilson said Schmid has been like a mentor to her.

“I am honored with the privilege and opportunity to continue to part of the work of Someplace Safe. The need for shelter and services continues to grow. I have seen the change over the years. This opportunity will help double the space to take care of the mothers and children,” Schmid said.

She said whenever there is a crime of domestic violence, so many are affected.

Schmid said Someplace Safe set up before Christmas a place at the Eastwood Mall where 250 women helped at the shelter last year could get coats and gifts for themselves and their children.

Teresa Boyce, acting director of Beatitude House, has said previously Beatitude House and Someplace Safe have a long-standing relationship, and both organizations are committed to helping promote stability in the lives of the women and children,

For more than a year, Someplace Safe has held domestic violence support group sessions at Beatitude House.

In 2016, Beatitude House was one of three area agencies to experience a cut in its federal HUD spending for transitional housing.