Family Focus: Effort aims to make domestic violence shelter a comfortable place

by: Erica Bryant Updated:

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MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. —

Mecklenburg County's new domestic violence shelter will open in three months.

A new effort just started to make it feel more like home for the women and children who will stay there.

Amanda Williams, Alison Hall and Sherry Sample recently shopped for a cause, choosing items to decorate a room for women and children escaping abuse.

“We want to give them a comfortable place to come home to because the three of us have that space at home with supportive family members, so we want to give back so they have the same thing,” Hall said.

The three friends will see the fruits of their efforts at Mecklenburg County's new domestic violence shelter still under construction. It will increase capacity from the current 29 beds to 80 and provide a longer-term space for families in transition to heal.

There are at least 20 other bedrooms at the shelter still available for people in the community to adopt.

“We're looking for people to donate money, help us buy products, but most of all to cover the cost to make sure any additional dollars go to the programming and to help people,” Williams said.

Statistics show 1 in 4 women will be a victim of domestic violence -- critical numbers that suggest everyone knows someone who's been abused.

“I think we've all had friends who've been victims of domestic violence. In some way, it's a prevalent problem even in high school relationships and college relationships,” Williams said.

“It's always hard, but if we can give them a place where they feel safe and relaxed when they close the door, then I think we've achieved our goal,” Hall said.

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