John Bruni, front, and Patrick Lynch paint the remodeled and expanded interior of the Dunn House. 7/19/07 Denise Baratta

Remodeled Dunn House set to reopen

More women and children fleeing abusive relationships can gain refuge at Jackson County's domestic-violence shelter.

Dunn House, the county's only shelter for victims of domestic abuse, will reopen with an additional five bedrooms, the result of a four-month remodeling project. The 5,000-square-foot residence has enough space for 29 women and children at a time, said Anna D'Amato, director of victims services for Community Works, the nonprofit agency that operates Dunn House.

"Last year, we turned away over 200 women and kids because we were full," D'Amato said.

Community Works donors, board members and police and fire personnel are invited to tour the building Monday. The event is not open to the public because Dunn House's location is strictly safeguarded for the protection of its residents. The shelter each year serves about 340 women and children in immediate danger of domestic violence, D'Amato said.

Marking its 30th anniversary this year, Dunn House will reopen to clients Tuesday. Although the shelter operated throughout its remodel, it closed for about 10 days so staff could clean and move furniture into the new rooms.

A $90,000 grant from the Medford-based Hearts & Vines Foundation paid for approximately half of the 1,350-square-foot remodel, which had been planned for about five years, D'Amato said. The construction grant was in addition to the $145,000 Hearts & Vines awarded Dunn House in March for yearly operating costs, said Ted Darnall, board president of Hearts & Vines.

"We wanted to do something concrete with long-term effects that would serve more victims of domestic violence," Darnall said.

Remodeling also added two bathrooms, an office, a meeting room for support groups and a children's therapy room. The latest makeover is one of several since Dunn House has occupied the rambling, two-story residence that contractors date to the late 1800s.

Named for Ashland counselor Rosemary Dunn Dalton, Dunn House provides 24-hour intervention in cases of domestic crisis, as well as advocacy, counseling and referrals. Residents, who can stay for a month, receive food, clothing, toiletries and emergency transportation.

Hearts & Vines' $90,000 pledge constituted the lion's share of a one-time gift the foundation received from the estate of a local resident upon his death, Darnall said. Since its 1993 inception, Hearts & Vines has awarded more than $1 million to local agencies serving women and children.

Most Hearts & Vines funds are generated at its annual auction, set for Aug. 4 at Valley View Vineyards, 1000 Upper Applegate Road, Ruch. Auction tickets are $150 per person. Call 773-2554 or order at online.

Call Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail

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