ZANESVILLE — A location has been announced for Muskingum County's first and only child advocacy center.
Located at 1041 Beverly Ave., Heroes Landing will serve as the central location for child victims of abuse to receive treatment and begin the process of bringing their perpetrators to justice.
"It's a much needed resource for the community that will allow victims to receive necessary care locally and will enhance the ability of law enforcement and the prosecutor's office to do our jobs in holding others accountable," Muskingum County Prosecutor Ron Welch said.
Bringing a justice center to Zanesville has long been a dream of Welch's since beginning his career in Muskingum County.
With the help of the Malouf Foundation, that goal is close to being achieved.
"It's great to know that it's a stage that it is going to happen. It's not an issue of will it ever happen, will we ever have the resources necessary to provide the level of care and support for victims that we need to," Welch said. "All those doubts are gone, so the realization that we're going to be actively serving victims in our community has been a sense of great accomplishment."
Based in Utah, the non-profit is an extension of the Malouf Company — a national sleep and home goods manufacturer with a distribution center in Frazeysburg.
The organization supports child advocacy centers across the country after learning how integral they are for bringing abusers to justice.
According to Heroes Landing Executive Director Evonne Saunders, the center will keep child victims local instead of traveling out of the county for evaluations and interviews.
In its first year since forming last spring, Heroes Landing has raised more than $600,000 from more than a dozen companies, charities and organizations.
That money will support program development, upcoming building renovations, operation expenses and equipment and care services for child abuse survivors.
“At the end of Heroes Landing’s first year, the ability to reflect on what we have accomplished, the community relationships we have built, and the operational groundwork we have laid, I am proud of our team," Saunders said.
She is hopeful that renovations will be done in time for a spring opening.
This article originally appeared on Zanesville Times Recorder: Location selected for Muskingum County child justice center