Columbia residents trying to stop construction of domestic violence shelter

Columbia Shelter

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WKRN) – Neighbors in Columbia are uniting to try and stop the construction of a multi-unit domestic violence shelter in their area.

The Center of Hope plans to build multiple single family homes on about two acres of land along Santa Fe Pike. News 2 is not disclosing the exact location to protect the future safety of victims.

Neighbors told News 2 they found out about the development only after the clearing of the land started last week.

One of the neighbors opposing the shelter works for Center of Hope. Dana Smith said she is in support of a shelter to help women and children but not in her neighborhood.

“None of us want the shelter here,” Smith explained. “There are concerns about it attracting violence and increased police calls.”

She continued, “We have neighbors who have been here for 30 years. They don’t want that next door.”

Andrew Costa and his wife purchased their first house last year not far from where the homes are supposed to be built.

“I was very concerned from a safety stand point and what it will do to our property values,” he said. “We were under the impression that they were looking to build a house.”

The Center of Hope helps women who are leaving violent relationships.

The center’s executive director said they were not going to comment on the controversy but may release a statement.

The president of the board for Center of Hope told News 2 by phone she will be glad to meet with the concerned neighbors.

Neighbors have since placed a sign on the construction site and are continuing to organize their opposition to the shelter.

They even suggested they would be willing to buy the land from the shelter so it can be built somewhere else.

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