Location: Madison, WI
Client: Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS)
Completion Date: Fall 2014

The Madison Domestic Abuse Intervention Shelter (DAIS) undertook a project in 2014 to create a new space for their clients that would be inviting, safe and include spaces that were appropriate for each age group.

The updated space goes beyond providing a safe place to sleep and includes plenty of spaces for needs from programming to 24-hour help lines and more. Demco helped to plan and furnish conference rooms, training rooms, flexible gathering spaces and children’s spaces. The updated spaces are bright, clean and include cohesive furniture and fixtures. The new spaces let those who use them feel valued.

Some of the most striking spaces are the children’s rooms. With four different age appropriate rooms, it was the first time that DAIS was able to provide a space for each age group. According to Liz Klaus, the donations coordinator, “In 2014, DAIS served 215 children in our Children’s Program. Our Kids’ Space is now a place where the quality of the space meets the quality of the services that we provide to children here at DAIS. This space will better meet the needs of the kids we serve for years to come.”

The Infant Room

Infants need as safe place to begin to explore their surroundings and this space provides the ability to conduct a variety of activities. Durable, furniture is sized appropriately for little ones and play panels and books are placed at lower heights for greater accessibility. A brightly colored carpet welcomes children to the space.

The Toddler Room

Toddlers are ready for a little more stimulation and their space offers a wide variety of activities that allow for further exploration. Multiple play panels challenge children and stimulate learning. Numerous bins hold a variety of toys and activities. Activity tables and easels allow children to express their creativity and a large tack board puts their artwork on display. Books and games are fully accessible with face out browsing. A colorful alphabet carpet provides an engaging learning environment.

The School Age Room

School age children tend to approach learning using even more expanded mediums. The space still includes flexible tables and chairs that can be reconfigured as needed and storage for even more craft supplies and toys. With digital learning also being important for school age children, their environment also includes computers and the ability to view videos. A brightly colored carpet provides a comfortable gathering space.

The Teen Room

With at place to call their own, the teen room offers variety that is comfortable and allows for studying or just hanging out. Soft seating in both standard chair and stools makes it easy to rearrange for small groups or individuals. A café table features tall stools for games or study. Tack panels and whiteboards allow for collaboration. A TV provides a space for watching videos or gaming. This space has several computers specifically for teens and a colorful carpet pulls everything together.

Karen Larson, Children’s Program Coordinator, said, “After spending many years in our old facility, which only had one space for children from infants to teenagers, we wanted a space that would allow us to provide developmentally appropriate services to children of all ages. We wanted it to be a space that was inviting to children without being overstimulating. We also wanted a space that would be easy to maintain. We are better able to meet the individual needs of children and provide a wider variety of activities.”