How big is the problem?
There problem is big: over 8,500 calls to the local hotline and over 1,100 confirmed cases in Marion
and Polk counties each year. It is estimated that one in ten children will be sexually abused before they
turn 18 and that only 3-5% of actual abuse ever gets reported. Physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect
can produce long-lasting trauma.
What does Liberty House do?
Liberty House provides medical checkups, forensic interviews and family support for children referred
for concerns of abuse or neglect. Our work produces critical results: objective assessment to learn
whether abuse is occurring, intervention to stop abuse if it is occurring, information so families get the
help they need, and reports that help the Department of Human Services create safety plans and law
enforcement partners hold offenders accountable. The coordination we provide means that children
and families can get the help they need with fewer appointments, which reduces stress and improves
outcomes. Cases that get referred to Liberty House tend to have better legal outcomes, which helps us
help our partners promote a safer community.
Why the sudden push to buy a building? This seems a little . . . sudden.
Actually, the Liberty House Board of Directors, staff, and major strategic partners such as law
enforcement agencies and Department of Human Services managers have long recognized the need to
add a second exam room, more waiting rooms, and more working space for the multidisciplinary
partners. This year, the need has grown. Up to this point, there have not been any easy solutions.
However, in the last six months, several things have fallen into place that make this the right time. We
want to take advantage of the opportunity to work collaboratively with our partners to acquire this asset
that will help us to achieve several strategic goals.
What will happen if Liberty House buys the building?
If Liberty House can acquire the building, we will move all nonclinical services out of the original
building into one wing of the new building. Then we will remodel the original building by adding two
more exam rooms, more interview and observation rooms, and more private waiting rooms for families.
That will allow us to offer more appointments at times more convenient for children and their families.
It will also allow us to offer more same-day or next-day appointments for children and youth who should
be seen promptly. In the other wing of the new building, we will be able to make workspace available
for our law enforcement and multidisciplinary partners. Finally, we will be able to provide office space
for local mental health providers to offer trauma-informed follow-up services for children, youth, and
family members who need support.
As we have engaged in conversations and planning this spring, many people have looked across the lawn
between the two buildings and asked whether families ever use the lawn to let children play. The
answer is “yes,” they do. Then we are asked if we have ever thought about creating a healing garden,
making the space more inviting for visitors. The answer is “yes,” we have. The next comment we hear
often sounds like the following, “I can see this vision as a sort of campus; a place where families can
come to have their children seen and to receive support for the difficult things they have to deal with.”
Our response to that is, “Yes, we also see that vision.”
What goals will this building accomplish?
Acquiring this building will help us to meet needs that we have only been able to partially meet and
add better follow-up care. Using the space as explained above will allow us to offer better resources for
more children, youth, and their families. It will help our DHS and law enforcement colleagues in doing
their jobs to help children be safe and to hold offenders accountable. Since offenders typically have
more than one victim, these are very important steps in reducing and preventing child abuse. Our
primary goal is to help our community be more safe for children. We have identified five major
problems in our service delivery, and since they all relate to lack of space, this one solution will address
all five problems.
How do you plan to raise the funds?
Unless one or more major private gifts materialize, we will use a combination of strategies that will
include securing an “anchor” donation, a matching campaign, a widespread online social media
campaign (think 150,000 people each giving $10), and investments from business partners.
Why not take out a loan?
The Board of Directors and the CEO do not want to risk compromising Liberty House’s 15 years of
success by incurring such debt. We want all revenue to fund direct services to children, not interest
What is the timeline for the purchase?
We hope the raise the majority of the funds in sixty days. As soon as we raise $750,000, we can write
an offer to purchase. We set this goal because we know that every day, children in Marion and Polk
counties are experiencing tragic physical and sexual abuse. The effects of internet pornography and
dangerous drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana exacerbate the risks for children.
We simply can’t wait any longer.
What will be the return on investment?
Utlimately, securing the space will allow our entire coordinated community response to be more
efficient in getting children and families the help they need and holding offenders accountable. Over
time, that will result in a healthier community. Coordination of efforts saves time and resources for
everyone when the right tools are available. Securing this space will allow Liberty House to offer more
appointments during times that are better for children, families, and our agency partners. It will allow
us to provide office space for local mental health providers to offer onsite follow-up, and it will provide a
convenient location for law enforcement, DHS, and other key strategic partners to meet with and assist
families. That will improve our local coordinated response to child abuse and neglect.
Call Alison Kelley, the CEO. She’ll answer your questions.
2685 4th Street NE Salem, OR 97301