November 17 • 08:16 PM
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Comfort House relocates main office to Corydon


However, it will maintain services at Milltown


Comfort House has moved its main offices to Corydon, but the child advocacy center will keep a satellite office in Milltown, making what it considers the best of situations for those its serves in both counties.

Donna Lloyd Black, the agency's director, said the move to Corydon, into office space behind the Holiday Inn Express on the north side of town, will benefit Harrison County children who have been victims of sexual assault.

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George Black III, the husband of Comfort House Director Donna Lloyd Black, helps move office furniture into the facility’s new office in Corydon on Jan. 12. (Photo by Chris Adams)
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Too often, Black said, it was difficult for all of the members of Harrison County's forensic interview team to travel out of county, to Milltown, to interview children. It is important for Comfort House to be accessible because the majority of the agency's cases come from the more populous Harrison County, she said.

"That was one of those issues we saw in Harrison County," Black said, referring to difficulty Comfort House had in "trying to get the entire team engaged," since it strained various agencies — law enforcement, the prosecutor's office, the Department of Child Services, etc. — to send representatives out of the county to conduct interviews.

"I think that was probably the strongest consideration (the Comfort House Board of Directors) had, that and funding," she said.

The additional office allows Comfort House to receive a second National Children's Alliance grant, Black said. Already having an NCA member grant for its Milltown office, Comfort House, she explained, was able to apply for a non-member development grant for the new Corydon facility. That is important since funding has been a challenge for the agency, which relies on grants, donations and local dollars to stay open, she said.

Black, Comfort House's only full-time employee, said she hopes the development grant will allow a program coordinator to be hired. That person, she said, would fill an void by being able to reach out to the community in educational efforts, something Comfort House hasn't been able to do since funding became tight a couple of years ago and staff was reduced.

Black said that not wanting to put Crawford County officials in the same bind that those from Harrison County had been in, the Comfort House board, when approached by Milltown Police Chief Ray Saylor, a member of the forensic interview team who was going to move the police department to the town-owned office space on Hancock Street, chose to keep a satellite office in Milltown.

"Milltown has agreed to allow us the three rooms that are required for us to do what we do at no cost," she said, crediting Saylor for making the proposal.

Maintaining that office in Crawford County is important, Black explained, because the forensic interview team from the county where a case is being investigated must conduct the interview, and this will make it easier for Crawford County's team to assemble when needed.

The agreement with the Town of Milltown calls for the town's police department to be able to access its cameras to the Comfort House's monitoring equipment, Black said. In addition, Comfort House, which is to maintain the equipment, furnished a reception and observation area, she said.

"Hopefully, we're doing the best by both counties to help the kids that are going through the center," Black said.

Comfort House will host an open house at its Corydon facility, located at 2207 Concord Ave. NW, Suite 120, on Monday, Feb. 11, from 3 to 6 p.m. The public is invited to attend the reception, which will include refreshments.

More information about Comfort House can be found at the agency's Web site, www.comfort-house.org. Tax-deductible donations may be made by calling the agency at 1-812-225-KIDS (5437) or stopping by the office.

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