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Helping Hands gets state, Lions grants

Helping Hands Against Violence, Inc., has been awarded a Capital Improvement Grant for $50,000 through the State of Oregon.

The Hood River non-profit, which runs the Young Women's Center transitional housing facility as well as an emergency domestic violence shelter, will use the money for upgrades at the center, according to Lisa U'Ren, executive director of Helping Hands.

The Young Women's Center, a four-plex apartment house built in 1978, "needs some serious work," U'Ren said. The organization also was awarded a Lions grant. The combined monies will be put toward a new roof, interior and exterior paint, new flooring and new windows. Michelle Hertrich, who heads the center, said the building might also get an air conditioner installed.

Replacement of the floors on the first floor has already begun, Hertrich said. The other remodeling jobs will start in the next month.

The Young Women's Center opened three years ago and offers abused women between the ages of 16-24 -- and their children -- a place to live for up to a year.

"We've had a lot of women come through here in the last three years," Hertrich said, adding that the apartments have had a lot of wear and tear.

"We just want to make it a place where women feel comfortable -- a place they're proud of," she said.

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