For nearly 40 years Wellspring, the organization that provides crisis and support services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Saratoga County, has operated from an out-of-sight basement office on Broadway in Saratoga Springs.
Now, after decades of planning and a successful fundraising campaign, Wellspring is moving into a new mission-based facility located just south of Northway Exit 12 at 2816 Route 9 in Malta.
Similar to Wellspring’s current location on Broadway, domestic violence and sexual assault are often hidden from view.
“Because relationship abuse is so private, and understandably so, I don’t think many people realize that there is a deep demand for Wellspring’s services throughout our county. Last year we responded to over 1,300 hotline calls,” said Wellspring Executive Director Maggie Fronk. “Even so, we know that there are many victims who we are still not connecting with. This new building will make Wellspring much more visible, and we hope this means that more people will know that we are here as a resource.”
Wellspring’s new home will expand their ability to serve more clients, she said. Many times victims of relationship abuse are unable to leave because their abuser has prohibited them from having their own source of income. The agency’s new building will have program space for workforce development to enhance clients’ job skills for career growth and financial literacy classes for self-sufficiency.
In addition to new client services, Wellspring’s new location will include ample space for community prevention and education programs.
“This building will allow us to invite the community in,” said Fronk. “We will host professional trainings for our partners in law enforcement and healthcare, leadership seminars for high school and college age students, programs for parents so they can learn how to talk to their children about healthy relationships and consent, partnerships with local businesses, book clubs, a conversation series, and so much more.”
These programs will allow Wellspring to be a more visible, accessible, proactive, and community-focused organization in order to provide education and assistance before there is a crisis.
Wellspring successfully raised over $3 million for this project, exceeding the original campaign fundraising goal. Visit www.wellspringcares.org/campaign-information to see a list of donors.
Campaign co-chairs were Stephanie Collins and Linda Toohey, who partnered closely with Wellspring board members and numerous generous donors.
“This building will forever transform the way Wellspring serves victims of relationship abuse. And it is so much more than just a building. It will be a space where victims can feel empowered in their journey to safety,” said Fronk. “I can think of no better time to celebrate the opening of our new home then at the start of October which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. “
The professional team working on this project includes Balzer and Tuck Architecture, The L. A. Group Landscape Architecture & Engineering, and Bonacio Construction, Inc.
Wellspring’s mission is to support survivors and engage the community to end relationship and sexual abuse. Each year, crisis intervention and survivor services support more than 1,000 clients, providing comprehensive, compassionate, non-judgmental, completely free support in the form of counseling, legal advocacy, and case management.
Wellspring also provides safe housing to adults and children either fleeing or homeless because of domestic violence. In Saratoga County domestic violence is the number 2 violent crime (second only to drunk/drugged driving), according to the organization.
Wellspring’s operations are funded by local, state, and federal grant funding as well as philanthropic contributions from the community. To support Wellspring’s mission, please visit the Wellspring website www.wellspringcares.org/donate or call 518-583-0280.
The Wellspring 24/7 phone hotline is 518-584-8188.