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Staten Island gets Family Justice Center, fifth of its kind in the city

Mayor Bill de Blasio celebrated the creation of Staten Island's Family Justice Center Monday, which is set to open in 2016 and will be the fifth of its kind in the city.

The center, which is near the borough's courts and district attorney's office in St. George, will cost about $5.9 million and is expected to be open early next year, officials said. The facility's location will help domestic violence victims receive services from several agencies, including legal consulting and housing assistance.

"It's Staten Island's turn," de Blasio said, speaking from the site with his wife, Chirlane McCray, standing at his side. "It's time for Staten Island to have this support available for people in need."

De Blasio said intimate-partner homicides in fact decreased by 27% from 2013 to 2014. Staten Island is the last borough to open a family justice center.

"We have a long way to go but that shows that more outreach, more preventative work really makes a difference," he said. "We stand ready and willing to fight for ever person suffering from domestic abuse -- every single one -- from Staten Island to the Bronx, all five boroughs, we will be there for people in need."

Staten Island Borough President James Oddo said the center cost more money than initially thought, but the center -- now near the finish line -- will save lives.

"This center will help women, this center will help children," Oddo said. "This center will help families, and this center is going to help Staten Island."


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