Leadership Paducah recently made a record $42,200 donation to the Merryman House to go towards building an expanded campus and services. Director Mary Foley said "I was so unbelievably caught off guard. I'm not sure what I expected, but that exceeded my expectations." She speaks with Kate Lochte on Sounds Good about the gift, the progress on their new building and new opportunities to connect with the community.
Merryman House has been providing services to eight counties for over 30 years, providing support to men, women and children who suffer from domestic violence. With 24 beds, the shelter has been over capacity for several months, with a long waiting list. The Merryman House board has been looking for ways to remedy this as well as address maintenance issues and better accommodations for people with disabilities. They voted to build a new shelter and are now actively working to raise money to acquire the property. The check comes at an opportune time, she says.
When you speak of domestic violence, the first question that comes up is usually "why does she stay?" Foley says. We wouldn't ask these questions of any other crime, so we need to shift the conversation to 'why does he or why does she perpetrate violence and what can we do to intervene to prevent it from occurring,' she says.
Since the location they are working to secure is more public than their current undisclosed location, they are working to consider how to balance safety, security and confidentiality and yet putting themselves in a position in the community where they are more open to bringing to light the issues they deal with and fostering community partnerships. The Merryman House will be launching a capital campaign soon, seeking lead givers and gifts, writing grants and continuing fundraising.
The number for the Merryman House 800-585-2686 or 270-443-6001, or go to merrymanhouse.org.