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History of Organization

Salvare, Inc. (pronounced Sal-var-ray, meaning Spanish for "be safe") d/b/a Dawn Center was previously known as Hernando County Rape Crisis Spouse Abuse Center and has been meeting needs in Hernando County since December 1986. Originally, the agency was a satellite office of Marion County Rape Crisis Spouse Abuse Center and although Hernando women and their children could receive counseling through the outreach offices based in Hernando County, to receive safe shelter women and children had to be transported by to Marion County a round trip distance of 110 miles. The primary focus of the agency was and continues to be the provision of quality services to women and their children who are victims of domestic violence, and to victims of rape or sexual assault and their families or partner as reflected in our mission statement: 'The mission of this organization is to assist individuals who are faced with the dilemma of domestic violence and sexual abuse. It is our goal to assist these individuals with safety planning, crisis intervention, a place of shelter, assess the needs and status of each family, and provide and/or coordinate the necessary support systems in regard to: education, referrals to other social service agencies, housing, employment opportunities as well as ongoing support through advocacy. In addition, the organization creates community awareness and education of domestic violence and sexual assault, develop alliances and provide legislative support'.

By 1993, it became apparent that the transportation of women and children out of county was not adequate to address the growing needs and numbers of women and children in crisis in Hernando County. Isolating women and children from extended-family members, friends, employment, familiar surroundings including school, and friends etc. was emotionally harmful.

By July of 1993, a group of concerned citizens spear-headed by State Senator Ginny Brown-Waite launched a local campaign and raised $95,000 which allowed for the purchase of a large, four floor, single family home in Hernando County, to be brought up to fire code to house 24 women and children, and become Hernando County's only safe house for victims of domestic violence and their children. Salvare Inc. d/b/a/ Dawn Center (Dawn Center) became an independent corporation in July 1993 and was determined to be a private, not for profit agency.

The first women and children to be offered safe shelter at the Dawn Center house was in the early Spring of 1994, giving the opportunity to provide counseling, support groups, children's programs, and life and parenting skills in a caring, supportive environment, while being able to give relevant, Hernando County referrals to assist women in their plans for housing, employment and education.

In 2004,  Dawn Center received funds to build an addition onto the shelter of four additional bedrooms, one bathroom and a family room. This addition will allow shelter for up to 40 women and children. Dawn Center was also able to enlarge the kitchen area and purchase new appliances.

Additionally in May of 2005, the Dawn Center hired a new Executive Director that continued to facilitate the development of the property.

In 2005, Dawn Center received Capitol Improvement money through the Department of Children and Families to improve the security system with new cameras privacy fencing and security gates to provide better surveillance of the property. This would enable Dawn Center to provide a much safer and secure environment for the women and children.  Dawn Center also received a funding through the Brooksville Rotary Club and a match grant from the Board of County Commissioners to purchase playground equipment for the children in the shelter. The Brooksville Rotary Club coordinated community efforts through Parks and Recreation, their group, Hernando County Sheriff's Office and Hernando County Jail employees to build the playground equipment. During this time a company called Recovery Solutions owned by Gary Grubbs became involved with cleaning the property and grounds of debris from storms and other elements. They brought in several trucks of white sand for the playground as well. At that time Gary Grubbs asked what he could do to assist the Dawn Center because it needed some additional work done in the facility. Although there had been several capitol improvement grants the funding did not cover remodeling the inside of the shelter. The Grubbs family facilitated at their own expense a complete interior remodel that included carpeting and new ceramic tile, dry wall and paint, replaced all the old exterior doors.

In June 2007, The Grubbs family hosted a fresh and saltwater fishing tournament on pristine property that they own to benefit the Dawn Center. In 2008, the Grubb's family hosted a Harley Bike Raley to continue to support the Dawn Center Financially.  The event was successful and raised another $5000.00 for the agency.

In 2007, Wal-Mart Distribution Center gave the Dawn Center a check for $10,000 from a local event that they hosted; they also paid for a new air conditioning unit in the shelter and have continued to seek new ways to assist us within the community. They have also made a commitment to assign two managers each week to maintain and improve the look of the grounds. They provide all the lawn equipment to accomplish this project. The Wal-Mart Distribution Center continues in 2009 to be a great support to the Dawn Center by providing grants and other fundraising events to support us throughout the year.

In the last several years, we have successfully sought and received funding to provide a Legal Advocate to assist women and men seeking assistance with filing injunctions, court support and legal referrals. Dawn Center has also been able to provide a Prevention Specialist through special funding programs to go into the public schools and provide education on bullying, safe dating as well as work on special projects within the community to promote healthy relationships among our youth.

Mission Statement
To end the cycle of family violence, abuse and sexual assault...where home is a safe place.

Affirming that domestic and sexual violence is a community issue, Dawn Center envisions itself as a strong collaborator, utilizing its core competencies in both prevention and intervention, to provide clients services and build community-wide awareness, understanding and commitment which will foster progress toward the elimination of domestic and sexual violence.

Dawn Center is dedicated to providing services for those victimized by domestic sexual violence and victims of sexual assault.

We are committed to bringing strengths together in creating empowerment where domestic and sexual violence exits, to help protect victims from further violence, and to educate communities and systems about the reality of violence in the home.

To achieve this vision, Dawn Center will more effectively integrate its own prevention and intervention services internally and will refocus its core services in Hernando County.

Dawn Center will also build and maintain sufficient operating and capital reserves and have a systematic approach to allocation of both fiscal and human resources that affirm its core values.

We remain committed
To work for the major societal changes necessary to eliminate both personal and societal violence against women and their children and all victims of sexual assault

To collaborate with legal, health and professional groups in working to enlighten the media, legislators and the judiciary system about beliefs that minimize and downplay the effects of domestic and sexual violence.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 January 2011 14:35

Phone Numbers


Outreach Office

Legal Advocate



Teen Dating Abuse Helpline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Sexual Hotline

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Volunteer Application Form

Want to volunteer with the Dawn Center? Here's the application. Click here.

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