The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay announced Wednesday that it has secured Hillsborough County’s approval to open a second sexual assault services facility in south Hillsborough County. This will supplement its current array of crisis services offered through a main facility in North Tampa.
The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay is a nonprofit organization that serves as the certified rape crisis center for Hillsborough County. The nonprofit provides a range of evidence-based crisis and trauma services for Hillsborough County residents, responding to over 160,000 requests for help each year.
According to a news release, the new location, slated to open in August of 2022, is made possible with the support of the Hillsborough County Commission, which recently voted to adopt a resolution authorizing the approval of a license agreement for the utilization of the new space.
“We are extremely thankful for the support we have received from the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and especially for the advocacy of Commissioner Harry Cohen and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office,” said Crisis Center CEO and President Clara Reynolds.
The Crisis Center has a main facility located in North Tampa off E Bearss Avenue. Through their trauma center, the nonprofit agency says they offer an “empowering and private process” for survivors to receive a rape kit, with a victim advocate, and connect with community resources for support, including possible financial and relocation assistance, free of charge.
The second facility will be located in the Hillsborough County South Shore Community Resource Center in Ruskin. The Crisis Center said this second location will allow them to make their sexual assault support services more accessible for residents of south county, including undocumented individuals, who live in Brandon, Ruskin, Wimauma.
“South County has seen a dramatic population boom and it has a population that is underserved when it comes to crisis intervention services. We look forward to creating an effortless experience for people to connect to support,” said Reynolds, who was recently appointed to the state Commission on Mental Health and Substance Abuse by Governor Ron DeSantis, alongside five other judicial, medical, and law enforcement professionals.
Until the new facility opens, Hillsborough County residents can contact the Crisis Center for sexual assault assistance through its main facility by dialing 211 or calling (813) 264-9961.
This connects residents with the Crisis Center’s confidential helpline, through its Gateway Contact Center, which is open year-round, 24-hours-a-day.
“Whether the assault took place 24 hours ago or 20 years ago, help is available,” the nonprofit’s website reads.