By: Brea Douglas Posted: Jan 10, 2018 06:57 PM CST Updated: Jan 10, 2018 07:13 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.–A new program designed to help victims of domestic violence will soon be coming to Springfield.

It’s all part of an effort to have various services in one central location.

KOLR10  told you Tuesday that Greene County budgeted $500,000 for the program, which stems from a half-cent sales tax that was approved last November.

Planning for the program is still in the very early stages, but it will be assisted by a California based organization called Alliance for Hope International.

The second floor of the Greene County Courthouse used to be home to the prosecuting attorney’s office. Now, it’s being proposed to become a one-stop-shop for domestic violence victims to get information on things like how to get a protection order, medical care, or help with getting out of an abusive relationship. Prosecutor Dan Patterson says it will be called the Family Justice Center.

“Finding access to financial information, budgeting, planning, job assistance, all those sorts of things are possibilities that the center will explore in helping the individuals get back on their feet. They’re not going from place to place, but there’s a coordinated approach to assisting  them,” says prosecutor, Dan Patterson.

The Family Justice Center would work in conjunction with The Harmony House, The Victim Center, and various law enforcement-staffing victim advocates.

“There will be a law enforcement response to some sort of incident and they would get referred to the center,” says Patterson.

A staff member from The Harmony House will also be there to assist them if they need a place to stay.

“Most survivors don’t know where they need to go or who they need to reach out to so to have a central location where we can make it a little bit easier and we can streamline that process for them, I think this is going to be a real game changer,” says Lisa Farmer, executive director of The Harmony House.

For more reasons than one.

“It’s been shown to not just have benefits for victims, but also benefits for communities in terms of reduce homicide rates related to family violence, increased convictions, and reducing recidivism and additional offenses,” says Patterson.

There will be a strategic planning meeting held in March or April to assess the best ways to operate the program including  determining business hours.

Patterson says he hopes part of the program will be running by sometime this spring.