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Architecture firm offers free services to create space for Rockford Family Peace Center

ROCKFORD (WREX) — The Rockford Family Peace Center is set to open in July. The space, located at 313 N. Main Street in downtown Rockford, is undergoing an interior transformation.

The space will serve as a one stop location for survivors of domestic violence who need services and resources to navigate their way to safety.

"So a survivor doesn't have to drive all over town," says Rockford Family Peace Center Operations Manager Sierra Kellen. "They can just come to one place and feel like they're safe, welcomed and believed."

Due to COVID-19, those working to open the center were thrown a curveball.

"We've had to cancel three or four fundraisers and just looking for creative ways to continue to raise funds to make sure the center is equipped appropriately," says Kellen.

The city estimates those fundraisers could have brought in roughly $40,000 for the center. Now organizers are operating with a smaller budget than anticipated. Luckily they're getting some help filling the gaps from Larson and Darby.

"We just believe in investing in our city. We live here, we worship here, we learn here, it's important to us as an organization," says Larson and Darby Director of Interior Design Sherry Gaumond. "The community supports us so it's important that we support our community and the things that are important to it."

Larson and Darby is offering up its architectural, engineering, and interior design services for free. Because the space is specifically for people to turn to during times of uncertainty and stress, the firm is paying close attention to the environment it's creating.

"Softer colors, furnishings that are a little less commercial or corporate that feel like they could be in your home," says Gaumond.

If you'd like to learn more about the Family Peace Center or make a donation you can find that information here.

Mary Sugden

Mary Sugden is the Investigative Reporter at WREX. She joined the team in December 2014 as the evening producer. In 2015 she made the move to evening reporter before joining the 13 Investigates team in May of 2018.

She grew up in Woodstock, Illinois and graduated from Woodstock High School in 2009. Mary graduated with a degree in Journalism and Marketing from Loyola University Chicago in 2013.

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