St. George UT – May 30, 2017 ~ DOVE Center’s Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that effective immediately, DOVE Center has assumed ownership of Erin Kimball Memorial Foundation, including its Community Housing Initiative and Erin’s House. This marriage of operations will create a more comprehensive and streamlined path for domestic violence survivors seeking supportive services in the St. George area.

“By bringing these programs together, we are able to offer a more fluid, seamless continuum of care to survivors more efficiently,” said Lindsey Boyer, Executive Director of DOVE Center. “Housing an entire range of services, from crisis shelter to independent living under one roof makes good sense for our supporters, too. Combining our operations eliminates duplication of services and reduces administrative costs, which means community donations help us accomplish even more.”

DOVE Center began offering services for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault in 1994. Since that time, its services have expanded beyond emergency shelter to include outreach, education, support and therapy groups, individual counseling, court advocacy and more.

Erin Kimball Memorial Foundation (EKMF) opened its doors in 2002, also to help domestic violence victims. It was founded by the surviving family members of Erin who, along with her two young children, was shot and killed by her husband in 1983. Her family established the foundation to honor Erin and keep her story alive.  They wanted to help other victims find safety, with a focus on housing.

For many years the two agencies have worked independently of each other on a mostly parallel path. As awareness of domestic violence and available services has increased in recent years, so have the opportunities for DOVE and EKMF to collaborate on behalf of survivors. These collaborations resulted in positive outcomes and ultimately led to the decision to combine the programs and operations of both agencies under the umbrella of a single organization, namely DOVE Center.

Melding organizations brings change, and representatives from both agencies are welcoming it. “We’ve been working towards a common purpose for years and have truly felt like sister agencies for some time. This transition will be really positive for our clients and the community,” said Adele Pincock, Community Engagement Director at DOVE.

Representatives of EKMF are equally optimistic about the new arrangement. Dorothy Engelman, outgoing Executive Director at EKMF said, “Survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in southern Utah are the real beneficiaries of this change. It’s been a joy working with Lindsey and the DOVE Board to make this aspiration a reality. I’m grateful to our board and Don and Sue Kimball for their support and encouragement to move forward and I’m excited to have played a role in bringing it to fruition.”

Engelman and Boyer acknowledge that there may be some confusion at first for community members and that the new arrangement may take some getting used to. “Many people in our community are familiar with Erin’s story and may feel disappointed to learn the formal organization is going away. But DOVE is committed to keeping her story alive and will continue to call the building “Erin’s House,” offered Boyer. “It’s a place where both organizations’ clients have found refuge, peace and stability. We’re so pleased that this will continue to be the case,” concluded Engelman.

By all accounts, the involved parties are satisfied and eager to move forward, including Erin’s parents. In a written statement provided by Sue Kimball, she said, “The Kimball family is thrilled that Erin’s House will continue to be a resource for healing, housing and growth under the leadership and care of DOVE Center. We appreciate the collaborative work the boards and staff of both organizations have devoted to streamlining and expanding services for those fleeing violence. Knowing ‘Erin’s work’ is in great hands means Don and I can finally rest. Thank you! We’re celebrating.”

For emergency shelter and other questions about domestic violence or sexual assault, please call DOVE’s 24-hour helpline at 435-628-0458.