Journal Record: Palomar progressing on new family justice center in OKC

By Kathryn McNutt
Published: September 14, 2022

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Palomar celebrated its five-year anniversary Tuesday by revealing details of the new $38 million family justice center to be funded through the city’s MAPS 4 program and operated by Palomar.

The nonprofit assists victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse and human trafficking, and it supports children exposed to trauma. Its current facility at 1140 N. Hudson Ave. is leased space.

The larger, permanent facility will be built across the street to the west on land donated by a business owner. It is scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2025.

The state-of-the-art facility will be up to 80,000 square feet and will increase the volume, efficiency and effectiveness of services provided to clients, Palomar Executive Director Kim Garrett said. In addition, the nonprofit no longer will have to pay rent.

Palomar opened in 2017 with 15 partner agencies and has grown to 42 partner agencies. Since opening, 17,300 victims of violence and abuse have been helped and nearly 206,700 services have been provided, Garrett said.

With the new facility, Palomar expects to bring in more partner agencies and triple the services it offers.

“Oklahoma City has gone above and beyond to help survivors and their children,” Garrett said. “This is a huge gift to us and our partner agencies and a commitment to our clients.”

The total project budget is $42 million, including $4 million for operational costs and an endowment.

The Oklahoma City Council approved last month the beginning of the predesign phase.

Garrett said the prevalence of interpersonal violence and abuse in Oklahoma is staggering. The state consistently ranks among states with the highest rates of women killed by men. Nearly half of Oklahoma adults experience intimate partner violence or assault in their lifetimes – the highest rate in the U.S.

“Palomar is a critical component of our city and our state’s future,” Mayor David Holt said. “Unfortunately, Oklahoma has a high rate of domestic violence. Palomar combats this trend with comprehensive services, compassionate care and selfless servitude. We can’t wait to see how this new facility further impacts our neighbors that need help the most.”