Nicole’s House will serve abuse victims in Moorhead

Nicole’s House will serve abuse victims in Moorhead

NICOLE BROWN SIMPSON WAS MURDERED IN 1994. Simpson, resulted in a media frenzy. Although no one has ever been convicted of the crime, friends and family say Nicole was a victim of an abusive relationship. The Nicole’s House project is dedicated to her memory.

“Nicole’s House is a transitional housing program, which is very different than a shelter. Transitional housing is long term, and our program is 18 to 24 months long,”

says Tina Delbrune, executive director of the Nicole’s House in Moorhead.

“You can’t fix it in 30 days. The women come in and out of our office, and the average woman leaves eight times before she permanently leaves,” says Delbrune. “As a survivor myself, I understand the barriers that brought me back and forth and in and out of that abusive relationship the cycle of violence and just how strong it is, and what factors need to be in place to help break that cycle.”

Delbrune says the idea is to get victims of a violent relationship into a safe place to live. The program calls for residents of the house to contribute toward rent and utilities based on their ability to pay. Delbrune says Nicole’s House provides a safe home and referral services to help people learn the skills they need to take back their lives.

“Whether that be parenting classes, GED classes, job training classes, child care resources and referral all those existing agencies are out there. What we’re going to be cheap jerseys doing is tapping into a good referral base for the battered women and children, and give them the proper direction and guidance,” says Delbrune.

But there are challenges, and topping the list is money. The first years’ budget is $150,000. Next year the group wants to raise $250,000. Denise Brown, chair of the board of directors of the Nicole Brown Foundation and Nicole Brown Simpson’s sister, is in Moorhead to kick off the program’s fund raising campaign. The group is pursuing grant money and corporate donations. Brown says they’ll also hold several fund raising events. One program asks people to donate $250. Their names are then engraved on a tile in the house. Another fund raiser lets donors furnish rooms in the house.

“It’s not cheap housing people, getting food for people, having them go through different programs. Not everything is free, either, for these women and children,” says Denise Brown. “The programs that we want to use outside of the house there’s job training sometimes to use a computer you have to pay for that.”

The first Nicole’s House will be home to three families. Moorhead was chosen as the first site, after Tina Delbrune contacted Denise Brown about a year ago. Brown visited the area, and was impressed with Delbrune’s passion and comittment to the issue, and decided that Moorhead would be a good place for the first Nicole’s House.

Like many nonprofit and charitable groups, Nicole’s House fund raising has been impacted by last month’s terrorist attacks. The fund raising campaign was originally scheduled to begin September 15th. Brown says it’s wonderful that Americans have responded so generously to the victims of the attacks, but they can’t forget there are other needs as well.

“People need to remember that there are local organizations, there are people that are in need, here in their own communities,” says Brown.

The campaign has gotten off to a good start. A property owner has stepped forward to provided a house for the program to rent, and will provide it rent free until fund raising efforts take off. Organizers are optimistic they’ll meet their fund raising goals. Brown says in the next two to three years, she wants to open three more houses in Moorhead.