Domestic violence shelter could be full by Thanksgiving, director warns

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — After enduring years of abuse at the hands of her first husband, Angela, who didn’t want to disclose her last name, said she was quick to pick up on early warning signs in her second marriage.

“I’m thinking it’s gonna get better, but I realized it don’t get better," she said. "The more you try to hold on, the worse it gets."

Three weeks ago, she and her four children came to a shelter run by YWCA of Greater Memphis.

Of the 78 beds there, 61 are already filled, according to YWCA executive director Marquiepta Odom. She said she only expects that number to increase.

“Probably by Thanksgiving, probably all 78 beds will be filled,” Odom said.

If that happens, there will be new challenges.

Funding is limited, and many families are arriving at the shelter without basic winter clothing.

“We have children that have on shorts, and we have a couple of women who really don’t have any shoes,” Odom said.

Angela and her family were fortunate enough to be able to pack some clothes before they fled their home — just not the kind that will see them through winter.

“Only thing we have is, like, thin clothes … children don’t think when they pack; they just take little things and go on,” Angela said.

YWCA is asking for donations of coats, shoes and other winter clothing to be brought to their administrative offices at 766 S. Highland in East Memphis.

You can also donate money on their website.

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