Peaceful Paths, a domestic abuse network, is getting a new home at the Alachua County Civil Courthouse.
The new space is directly across from the main desk for domestic abuse victims, giving them better access to a Peaceful Path representative, said Clerk of the Court J.K. “Jess” Irby.
Previously the Peaceful Paths office was in the basement of the courthouse, which victims were not typically receptive to, Irby said.
“It was dimly lit and inconvenient so I shifted around some of the offices up on the first floor, so now they not only have the one advocate space but two with more people,” Irby said.
More space also means the opportunity to expand employment.
“We can potentially have some interns from the [University of Florida] law school and attorneys,” Irby said.
Irby hopes the extended space will make a difference in accessibility for those who enter the courthouse building.
“This space is definitely going to be successful and remove any inconvenience,” he said. “We used to say ‘Oh we have someone down in the basement who can help,’ and often they’d say, ‘I’m not even going to worry about that.’ Not allowing them to get all the support they could potentially get.”