FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The former home of several trade schools including Heald College and The Milan Institute still sits empty on the corner of Bullard and Del Mar in Northwest Fresno.
But the Marjaree Mason Center is now working to change that, with a new campaign to help build its community resource center on the site.
They're calling the campaign, Courage Takes Root.
"To us at the Marjaree Mason Center, courage takes root when he, she or they say enough, when the cycle is broken," Marjaree Mason Center Board President, Kerri Horn said.
The nonprofit says the resource center will help adults and children escape domestic violence.
The current resource center is actually a former home in Downtown Fresno that has become too small for the needs of the community.
"If you combine all of our Fresno metro service facilities, this is more than double the physical footprint so there's no cap on the amount of increased services we'll be able to provide," Marjaree Mason Center CEO, Nicole Linder said.
The new center will have high security doors monitored by keycards and cameras to provide safety and will remain open 24/7 with a variety of resources, but will not be a shelter.
"We'll have private client meeting rooms where we'll help people fill out restraining orders, help search for a job, help search for housing-really whatever it is that the individual needs to seek safety," Linder explained while walking through the new facility.
Last year, there were over 11,000 domestic violence calls to law enforcement in Fresno County, an increase of 36% compared to 2021.
"Domestic violence is such a big issue in the community, we need to create a space to address it," Linder said.
The Marjaree Mason Center hopes to have the new resource center open by December of 2024.
The center hopes to reach its goal of 20 million dollars through this campaign that runs through November 15.
If you would like to donate to the Marjaree Mason Center you can do so on their website mmcenter.org.