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Hamilton County News

Posted on: June 3, 2021

Domestic Violence Shelter Proposed for Hamilton County

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Preliminary Findings and Renderings Revealed at Council Meeting


The Hamilton County Council approved a $14,500 request by Councilman Fred Glynn to fund a project development agreement with RQAW. The engineering firm has been tasked with imagining a domestic violence shelter for Hamilton County. RQAW presented preliminary findings and renderings at tonight’s council meeting.

“There is no safe emergency shelter located in the county for families fleeing domestic violence,” says Susan Ferguson, executive director at Prevail, Hamilton County’s comprehensive non-residential services provider. “Because of this, victims are staying in, or returning to, unsafe and abusive situations so that they have housing for themselves and their children.”

In 2020, Prevail served 3,783 clients – 52% of them victims of domestic violence. Since there is currently no shelter available in Hamilton County, victims and their children are often sent to shelters in Madison and Marion counties.

“If we’re being really honest, this is something that should have happened years ago,” says County Commissioner Mark Heirbrandt. “When we have to send a family outside the county for shelter, it just further complicates the matter, especially when it comes to getting the kids to school. This facility is really long overdue.”

Eight Hamilton County residents died as a result of domestic violence last year. 

“Domestic violence affects people of all socio-economic backgrounds and education levels,” adds County Councilman Fred Glynn. “Hamilton County is no different. We need to start taking care of our most vulnerable residents and providing them with the support they need to leave a bad situation.”

The 20,000 square foot shelter would be designed to provide temporary shelter for up to six victims of domestic violence at a time. A location has yet to be determined. The estimated cost could be anywhere from $3 million to $5 million. 

If you or someone you know is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional, or financial abuse, call Prevail’s 24-hour crisis line at (317) 776-3472 or the 24-hour statewide hotline at (800) 332-7385.

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