Quakerdale to open home for women in crisis

Central Iowa women suffering from domestic violence, substance abuse, homelessness and poverty will soon have a safe place to stay in Marshalltown.

It is the Van Orman House, named for a woman philanthropist. It will be managed by staff of Quakerdale, a faith based not for profit organization with a 157-year track record of ministering to youth and families who are experiencing a myriad of personal challenges.

Quakerdale is headquartered in New Providence with numerous satellite offices in Iowa.

“The Van Orman House’s mission is to help women in crisis,” said Rev. Randy Edgar, director. “It is available to all women, free-of-charge and non-denominational. We know from interviewing numerous women who have stayed at the House of Compassion (Marshalltown’s homeless shelter) that there are a number of them lacking sufficient alternatives, skill sets and resources to escape a cycle of domestic violence, substance abuse or poverty.”

Opening of the Van Orman House is timely, as a Marshalltown shelter for women experiencing domestic abuse or assault closed earlier this year.

“The Van Orman House is not a shelter,” Edgar said. “Women will have the opportunity to empower themselves through classes, ranging from budgeting to GED to job training. All will be done in an affirming, Christian-based environment.”

There will be room for 16-18 women in the facility, including facilities for participants with children under 12.

Staff and volunteers are currently finishing cleaning and maintenance projects in anticipation of the open house, which is from 2 to 6 p.m. Oct. 19 at 1909 Summit St.

For additional information contact 641-752-4157 or vanormanhouse@quakerdale.org.