GRAHAM (KFDX/KJTL) — The former Graham Bowling Alley was donated by David and Melissa York of Graham to become the new crisis center. But first, it needs to be renovated as a shelter for women and children rather than bowling balls and pins.
“They called me one afternoon and said, “you can have the bowling alley for free if you can use it.” and I said, I’m pretty sure we’ll find a way to make that work,” Graham Crisis Center Executive Director Don Oldfield said.
The center is currently located in the old Young County jail building, originally a temporary move 35 years ago, which has its own set of complications as far as wheelchair accessibility in a three-story building with no way to be renovated for an elevator. But in it’s new space, the plans for renovation include eight rooms for families, an apartment for the shelter manager, two offices and a kitchen. All this coming from the generous donations of the Graham community.
“We’re very unique in the sense that we do not use federal and state funding,” Oldfield said. “We found that if we can take care of it here, on our own, people in our community helping the community, we’d rather do that.”
And with the new building, comes a new name. Deemed “The Intersection,” the name came from the chairman of the board, who was once at an intersection herself in life after leaving an abusive relationship with her children but found hope and a fresh start at the crisis center.
“You have to have someplace to go and you have to have a way to take care of your kids,” Graham Crisis Center Treasurer Melissa Sullivent said. “That’s where we start. we allow people to come here, regroup, figure out a plan.”
The new Graham Crisis Center is set to open next spring and will feature new programs, including furthering education and a volunteer group to mentor the women.