By Jill Nagy
After nearly 40 years in the same Saratoga Springs location, Wellspring broke ground in November for a new, larger facility in Malta.
Wellspring provides free services to victims of domestic abuse and violence in Saratoga County and sexual assault victims in Saratoga and Washington counties.
“We are here 24/7 at no charge,” Wellspring’s director, Maggie Fronk said.
“We have outgrown our space in Saratoga,” she said. In fact, the agency is using off-site offices in order to meet with clients and comply with COVID social distancing requirements.
The new building will be on Route 9, just south of Malta Avenue, a site chosen partly for its visibility, Fronk said.
Bonacio Construction is building the facility.
Designed by Saratoga Springs architects Balzer & Tuck, the 8,000-square-foot building will provide confidential space for client conferences; an area for children to play while they wait for adults to finish their appointments; a food pantry and an area where clients can obtain household items, school supplies, clothing and other necessities; space for community meetings and education programs; a workforce development room; space for prevention and community outreach programs; and a staff wellness room Fronk called “a welcoming space to take a break and breathe.”
The enlarged space will allow development of the workforce development program and community-focused training for police officers, doctors, and others in the general community, Fronk said.
In addition, the building is designed with a separate, confidential, entrance for clients.
Wellspring is in the midst of a $1.8 million dollar capital campaign. Some $1.3 million is already in hand, according to campaign co-chairs Stephanie Collins and Linda Toohey. The remainder of the $3 million cost of the new building will be bank financed.
Wellspring started 40 years ago when concerned community members attempted to help a few families in distress. They helped people flee abusive situations and arranged shelter for them in a network of local hotels. Eventually, they formed an agency and hired a director and, Fronk noted, “it grew from there.”
Today, Wellspring has 21 full-time staff members. They help approximately 1,000 people a year in person and another 1,400-1,700 who call the agency’s hotline. The program services staff is augmented by volunteers who serve on the board, teach financial literacy, and provide other auxiliary services.
Fronk has served as executive director for over 18 years. Before joining Wellspring, she worked with a residential mental health facility and with organizations assisting homeless persons and people with HIV/AIDS.
Wellspring’s website is wellspringcares.org. Their telephone number is 518-583-0280. Until the Malta facility is ready, the agency will remain at 480 Broadway in Saratoga Springs.
By Jill Nagy