January 7th, 2020 2:00 PM
Moving: Executive Director Carol Gall (front row, fourth from left) and Sarah's Inn employees are excited about the move to a larger space in Forest Park. | Photo provided
By Maria Maxham
Sarah's Inn has moved its main office from Oak Park to Forest Park at a space in the 1500 block of Circle Avenue. The Oak Park location had been the primary site for direct intervention services for adults and children impacted by domestic violence, and Sarah's Inn will continue to offer these services at the new, bigger space.
The mission of Sarah's Inn is "to improve the lives of families impacted by domestic violence, and to break the cycle of violence for future generations."
Carol Gall, Sarah's Inn executive director, said the organization is excited about the new location. Although they'll still serve the same communities they always have, the increase in space has been long needed to keep up with their growth.
"It's been a five-year process," said Gall. "We knew we wanted a space that would be healing, holistic and accessible. We spent a long time looking at facilities in the area and trying to find one that could accommodate our needs. We've had a lot of growth in staffing and programming, and our current space just wasn't big enough for the families we serve."
Gall said they wanted to stay in the Forest Park, Oak Park or River Forest area, though they serve clients and families in Chicago as well.
The new space, which is around 10,000 square feet, is ADA-compliant and, says Gall, will allow Sarah's Inn "the opportunity to grow and expand in the space for the long term." It also has ample parking.
The building has been completely renovated on the inside to include individual and group counseling rooms as well as outdoor therapeutic spaces.
"In the old space, we could fit a maximum of 10 to 12 people in our largest space. Now, we can hold up to 50 or 60 people," said Gall. "This will also give us the opportunity to partner with other service groups and organizations or hold community-based training for larger groups of people. And we have multiple group rooms, so we can hold sessions or training concurrently."
Forest Park, she said, was a good fit because it's part of the community served by Sarah's Inn, and they found a space that could accommodate their needs perfectly.
The Sarah's Inn crisis line, which is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, is 708-386-4225.