In September 2012, a board was put together to help organize a child advocacy center to build resources and search for a building to house the center. Now, that search is over.
Folks who have worked on the committee to establish the center say they hope this center will be the answer to help stop child sex abuse.
For several months, an advisory board made up of several Centre County officials has worked to find a place for the new Child Advocacy Center. Now, they can officially call the building off Route 550 in Bellefonte home.
"It means that children now will have a one-stop place where they can take their problems and go and have all the discipline surround them," District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said.
Parks Miller has worked to develop the center from the beginning. She hopes the advocacy center will be a safe place for children to go who have been sexually abused to speak with professionals who can help them.
There are some concerns. Andrea Boyles works for the Youth Service Bureau. She says funding for centers like this one take a lot of work, and she worries the new center will pull resources from other businesses like hers.
"We have tremendous funding needs," she said. "My agency alone has to raise almost $400,000 this year in private giving to keep our operation afloat, so anything new means more money is needed."
But Boyles says having support from agencies like Mount Nittany and others throughout the community will make this resource center a step in the right direction for Centre County.
"As you ask me questions, I picture faces. So knowing these kids first hand, it is truly a blessing to know that we've got the best possible services right around the corner here in the community," she said.
The Board of Directors for the Child Advocacy Center hopes to have doors open this July.