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Shelter House changes name to reflect broader mission

WILLMAR -- Shelter House of Willmar has changed its name to Safe Avenues.

The organization that serves people who are dealing with domestic abuse changed its name after a three-year process, according to a news release issued this week.

"The name was chosen to better communicate that the organization offers varied roads to safety, including safe shelter and much more," Executive Director Connie Schmoll wrote in the release.

The name Shelter House will still be used to refer to the women's shelter program. Other programs that will be part of Safe Avenues are domestic violence victim advocacy, sexual assault victim advocacy, Harmony Visitation Center, Project Impact youth advocacy program, and the Kandiyohi Criminal Justice Intervention Program.

The feeling of the organization's board was that the name Shelter House implied that the organization offered a women's shelter and didn't address the other programs.

The name change gives Safe Avenues an opportunity to market its services and inform the community about its wide variety of programs.

"We are confident that the name Shelter House will continue to remain strong and associated with our agency for a long time," Schmoll wrote. "As long as we keep the name for our shelter program, we will not be losing the branding value -- but rather gaining a more inclusive agency umbrella name to build awareness of the vastness of our programs."

The Safe Avenues board of directors has also adopted a new vision statement: "A united community committed to the safety of all."