Clarksville domestic violence shelter expanding to meet increasing need

Space dedicated to remembering Meghan Santiago
Clarksville Area Urban Ministries SafeHouse
Posted at 5:04 PM, Jan 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-17 20:59:42-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A domestic violence victim’s memory will live on, and a local domestic violence shelter is making sure of it.

At the Clarksville Area Urban Ministries SafeHouse, they help domestic violence survivors. Maricza Hinnah said their emergency shelter is usually full.

“And we are having to turn about 30 to 40 individuals away monthly just because we don’t have the current space now. We have to turn people away,” Hinnah said.

That's why they bought a new facility. It will triple the size, and it will be able to house 42 individuals instead of 16.

Hinnah wants the building to have a daycare and transitional housing, too. She looks forward to there being multiple floors and several kitchens. In addition, they will have a clothing closet with essentials.

"The goal is going to be that we make this space where individuals can get the basic essentials that they need, because unfortunately, a lot of survivors leave in the middle of the night, and oftentimes just with the clothes on their back,” Hinnah said.

The closet room will be in memory of Meghan Santiago. She died at Fort Campbell. Meghan's husband, Joseph, has been charged with murder and the injury of their unborn child. He will stand trial on post at the end of the month.

"He will get the justice that he deserves, but I don’t think anything would bring Meghan back," Hinnah said.

Maricza has a photo of her late aunt and Meghan in her office — an ever-present reminder of what's at stake.

"Working in the domestic violence field is not easy with crises constantly. Just being able to look over, and see those pictures and know that this is why I’m doing this, that’s all we need sometimes," Hinnah said.

They hope to break ground on the new shelter in February. You can donate here, or enter a raffle to help fund it.

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