Council on Domestic Abuse shelter enforces new COVID-19 safety measures

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Before the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Council on Domestic Abuse (CODA) shelter would be able to house 40-50 residents.

However, due to new safety measures, the shelter is now limited to a maximum of 20-25 residents.

Christy McCullough, CODA shelter director, said working with their new policy has been challenging.

“There’s a part of you that’s like we’re here to help as many people as we can but then with this it feels like you’re turning away half of them. We have some people that call us every day.”

Masks and temperature checks are required for both shelter staff and residents.

Services such as group counseling sessions have also changed and sometimes are done virtually.

Shannon Burnett, CODA Child Advocate, said it’s been difficult for both current and past residents  to adapt.

“It’s been hard because they feel pretty lonely and we don’t want them reaching out to the wrong people or going back to where they came from,” Burnett said.

McCullough said their mission remains the same, even though the environment looks and feels different than before.

“It’s been an extremely trying time. And I think it’s been a learning experience for all of us. We’re not perfect and we’re doing the best that we can. But there are still a lot of disparities there because people aren’t able to get the help that they really really need.”

If you or anyone you know is in a domestic abuse situation, call CODA’s 24-hour crisis hotline at (812) 232-1736.

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