Washtenaw County has been approached over the last several months to provide comment or documentation related to the on-gong concerns at SafeHouse. We value transparency and believe it important to provide information regarding our history and relationship with SafeHouse. As such, we will use this space to provide updates to information as it becomes available.
In 1992, the voters of Washtenaw County approved a quarter of a mill for two (2) years for construction and furnishing of a facility for to serve residents in Washtenaw County who were in emergent need of domestic violence services. This project was managed under the guidance of the Washtenaw County Building Authority. On July 6, 1994, per resolution #94-0136, the Chair of the Board of Commissioners was authorized to sign a two (2) year Operating Agreement and Lease with the Domestic Violence Project, Inc / SafeHouse, a 501 (c) (3). The two (2) year operating agreement converted to a long-term lease once the bonds were paid off, assuring that the services would continue to be rendered at the site. The term of the lease is for fifty (50) years at an annual rental rate of $1.00. The original lease with SafeHouse commenced on July 1, 1995.
Our existing partnership with SafeHouse includes annual financial allocations to support the operation of SafeHouse. For 2021-22, that allocation amounts to $250,000. While our contractual obligation does not allow for programmatic or operational oversight of the facility, the County maintains the infrastructure, while Safehouse provides the day-to-day operations of the shelter including hiring and training staff, domestic violence programming and wrap-around services for survivors.