PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A new facility opens this weekend on the Treasure Coast designed to be a safe space for abused children.
The Guardians for New Futures is behind the new Children’s Advocacy Center in Port St. Lucie.
“This will change the trajectory of the lives of the children,” said Debbie Butler with GFNF.
State and local agencies are brought under one roof to help children in their darkest hours sharing difficult stories.
“They’ll start to heal more quickly and they’re not being traumatized over and over by not going from one place to another to another,” said Butler.
When a child is brought into the facility, it’s a very sensitive situation so the staff wants to make sure the child feels comfortable and welcome, so each child will get a stuffed animal and a comfort kit.
For Butler, this mission is personal.
Her daughter got addicted to drugs.
“My husband and I were there for our two grandchildren. Who’s there for all these other children? That’s when it clicked for me,” said Butler.
She’s grateful for the legislature providing much of the $1.3 million dollars in funding, and area businesses that stepped in to donate.
The new facility is expected to care for a thousand children annually.
Even with the finishing touches being put inside, there are still plans to expand outside at what was the old PGA Learning Center and create a healing garden.