The DOVE Project, the island’s domestic violence agency, has moved out of its offices at Courthouse Square and will be working on a mobile basis while in an interim location.
KUSH 21, a cannabis retail store, recently moved into the space next to DOVE, and the security cameras the business is legally required to have at the facility posed a problem for DOVE, whose clients often need to seek services confidentially.
“We take confidentiality very, very seriously,” said DOVE Executive Director Betsey Archambault.
The situation that developed on Vashon is likely the first time this has happened in the state, where a domestic violence agency shared a building with a cannabis shop, Archambault added. Officials at the Department of Social and Health Services, which provides some of DOVE’s funding, indicated DOVE could not remain in the building because of privacy issues, she said,
but noted that DOVE would have made the choice anyway because it follows best-practice guidelines.
“This has never really come up before,” she said. “This was really figuring it out from scratch, what we can and cannot do.”
Islander Tom Bangasser owns the building, and Archambault said he has provided office space until DOVE can move into its next home. More news about that upcoming move will be provided in the coming weeks, she added.
In the meantime, she said that DOVE staff are continuing to work with those who need their services.
“We are still here. We are still able to meet with people,” she said. “We have a safe place to do so.”
Most people call or email when seeking an appointment, but now it is especially important to do so, she said.
Call the hotline at 206-462-0911 or the office at 206-940-6430.