Toxic Waste Site in Danbury Turning Into a Safe Haven for Women and Kids in Crisis
In 1901, the Mallory Hat Factory on Rose Street in Danbury was one of the city's largest employers with over 400 people working to make 48,000 hats per year.
In 2021, the cleaned-up environmentally safe site will soon be a safe house for women and children in crisis thanks to a $6 million capital campaign by the Women's Center of Greater Danbury, according to an article in the Wilton Bulletin.
It all began back in 2017 as the Women's Center searched for a location to build their own safe house. The Mayor at the time, Mark Boughton, suggested the 5-acre lot where the hat factory once stood.
The first issue that had to be addressed was the years of pollution that contaminated the lot with mercury and oil during the hat factory days. Before the empty building was torn down, it served as a drug den and squatters' camp.
In 2017, then-Governor Daniel Malloy handed Danbury a $1.3 million grant to clean up the contaminated soil. From there, Pat Zachman, the president and CEO of the Women's Center assembled her team and began fundraising.
Through the Women's Center's fundraising campaign's tireless efforts, $4 million of the $6 million has been raised. If the Women's Center succeeds in raising the last $2 million, here is what Pat Zachman told Hearst Connecticut Media:
The capital campaign is not only for construction so that we can have a mortgage-free facility, but also to expand our programming and build our endowment.
Since 1975, the Women's Center of Greater Danbury has provided a safe haven for those who suffer from domestic abuse and sexual assault. Their services include an emergency residential facility, counseling, community education, information and referrals, crisis intervention, and advocacy.
If you're able, please consider donating to the WCGD by clicking on www.wcogd.org/giving.