Violence is the cause of 15% of homelessness cases
A refuge for women and children fleeing domestic violence is being officially opened in Darlington on Monday by Cherie Blair.
It follows a huge demand for accommodation, after 81 women and 96 children sought safe housing during 2002.
The new facility has six family units, a disabled unit, and two bedsits.
The new centre, which has cost more than £500,000, will replace an out-dated building which has offered thousands of women temporary accommodation and support since 1975.
Security is the key issue in the design to ensure that the women and children using the new centre are completely safe.
However the charity is still short of funding to operate the refuge.
Nationally, violence is the cause of 15% of the homelessness cases reported by local councils.