After a dozen years and thousands of cases at its old home at 69 Robert Smalls Parkway, a children's advocacy and rape-crisis center has moved to a larger location in Beaufort.
"Because of the work we do, we need very specific space to accommodate our needs," Hope Haven executive director Shauw-Chin Capps said.
That includes private offices for the expanded staff of 16 and specially designed rooms, some with one-way glass windows, she explained.
"Toward the end of last year, we did get two major grants, and we needed to increase staff but we didn't have any space," she said.
The previous building only had eight offices; the new location at 1212 Charles St. in Newcastle Square has enough space so every staff member has a private office.
That is important because of the confidential nature of the nonprofit's work, Capps said.
Last year, Hope Haven served 521 direct victims of child abuse and sexual assault, according to a news release. Of those, 82 percent were children under 16 years old, and 57 percent were under 11.
Finding a building to meet Hope Haven's requirements was difficult, she said, and it took more than six months to renovate the new location.
The interior has been remodeled to be more comfortable for clients, Capps said. The location also is easier to find, closer to other businesses and restaurants and within walking distance of Pigeon Point Park.
Hope Haven staff began working from the Newcastle Square location in January and is preparing for a grand opening from 3 to 5 p.m. Feb. 16. The event will include a ribbon-cutting, building tour and signing of the updated Child Abuse Response Protocol by government and nonprofit partners, such as 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone and Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner.
Hope Haven serves Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, Jasper and Allendale counties, and works with a number of agencies on child abuse cases.
"Essentially, we work together to create a coordinated effort when it comes to child abuse cases, to lead to a better outcome," Capps said. "... We want to make sure children don't fall through the cracks."
Information: hopehavenlc.org, 843-524-2256
In other changes about town:
- Rosie O'Grady's restaurant and bar, 2127 Boundary St., Suite 3, in Beaufort Town Center plans an expansion. The business has signed a lease to take over the space next door, previously occupied by Amata Thai Fusion, which closed at the end of 2013. Information: 843-379-7676
- A demolition permit has been approved, and a building permit is pending for the Parker's gas station and convenience store planned for the corner of Paris Avenue and Ribaut Road in Port Royal. Demolition could begin Monday, according to town officials, and construction is expected to start and proceed quickly.
- Construction has begun on the Port Royal Police Station at 1748 Paris Ave. The front door is inaccessible because of the work, so visitors should use the rear entrance. Work is expected to take about six months, Police Chief Alan Beach said. Information: portroyal.org
- The 1225 Ribaut Road building that was the home of Red Door thrift store is now occupied by two photography studios. Susan DeLoach Photography and Nurnberg Photography moved from 918 8th St. in Port Royal. Information: sdeloachphoto.com, nurnbergphotography.com
- The Boys & Girls Club of Beaufort Thrift Store will have a grand opening and ribbon-cutting from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at 914 Boundary St., Beaufort, according to a news release from the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce. The store moved from 1211 Harrington St. at the end of November. Donations will be collected during the grand opening, according to the release. Information: facebook.com/boysandgirlsthrift, 843-379-6350
Follow reporter Erin Moody on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.