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Project ReNeWal closed after flooding from sprinkler
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 Project ReNeWal, the local domestic violence shelter, is in dire need after a sprinkler malfunction dumped 18,000 gallons of water on the facility, ruining a two-story building and all the facility's donated supplies.

The facility is closed for the first time in its history, said Project ReNeWal Director Vickie Stevenson. "Everything in the two-story facility was lost due to water damage.”

The sprinkler first went off Friday. After the sprinkler head was repaired the system was turned on again, only to have the sprinklers go off again Sunday morning.

This space housed all the donated clothing, toiletry items, and household goods donated for the clients of the facility as well as two client apartments.

The three families staying at the 23-bed facility, which is the only certified domestic violence shelter for Rockdale, Newton and Walton, were sent to other shelters.

“Everything is being stripped out of it – sheetrock, the walls. All the contents are wet and being discarded,” said Stevenson.

The building owners and Project ReNeWal have insurance but the coverage is still being sorted out, said Stephenson.

"The community always provides the support we need to help families in crisis," said Stevenson. "I have been working at Project ReNeWal for 10 years and the community has never let us down. What we do is so important to everyone as domestic violence touches all of our lives in some way."

Project ReNeWal began serving clients this area in 1995. In 2011 it provided over 12,000 services to 1,827 individuals who found themselves living in violent homes. Project ReNeWal is the only organization serving individuals and families in domestic violence crisis situations in Rockdale, Newton and Walton Counties.

Stevenson said what was most needed now is financial assistance.

Tax deductible financial donations to Project ReNeWal may be sent to P.O. Box 1205, Conyers, Georgia  30012.  Donations can also be made via PayPal at

Currently Project ReNeWal is unable to take material donations.

To make a donation to Project ReNeWal or for more information, call 770-860-9770.