BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — YWCA McLean County is working towards expanding Stepping Stones, its sexual assault crisis center. On Friday there was an open house for the community to learn about the center. Stepping Stones has been serving the community for more than 20 years.

While the “W” stands for women, Stepping Stones helps all individuals as young as three years old. There is no time limit for a person to seek assistance meaning if a rape occurred 15 years ago and individual can still seek support.

The original layout of the building is for health and fitness. The renovations will transform former health and fitness spaces into more fitting counseling spaces. At the open house, visitors saw the plans the centers has to change old locker rooms, a concession stand and a vacant pool.

This project will double the amount of counseling space allowing more victims to have support. Alicia Whitworth, Director of Development and Public Relations, said there’s approximately 62 people on the waitlist.

“Just imagine someone coming in a crisis, unable to work, unable to function. Really needing these services and unfortunately having to tell them that they are number 62 on that waitlist,” she said. “We know that when individuals do better, their families do better. When their families do better our community does better. And we are really here to holistically serve survivors and their loved ones.”

The expansion will cost approximately $950,000. Alicia Whitworth, Director of Development and Public Relations, said instead of acquiring new land, YWCA is working to serve the community while being fiscally responsible with funds.

“We are excited to provide survivors with a space that is specifically for them that is not counseling rooms in makeshift former lifeguard places,” she said. “Non-profits are nothing if not resourceful and slightly scrappy but we are really excited to have a space dedicated to survivors.”

To support the expansion click here.