Tia Griffin is a domestic violence and substance abuse survivor. She's now living at the Merryman House Domestic Crisis Center after ending a four-year relationship and hitting rock bottom.
"If I would have known that my life could be so good today, I would have left a long time ago," Griffin told Local 6.
Her story is not unique. Merryman House Executive Director Mary Foley said a thousand others reached out to the nonprofit for help last year. She jumped at the chance to buy the former McCracken County School Board property so her team can treat more people like Griffin.
"This property gave us an opportunity to expand. This property gave us an opportunity to reach out. This property gave us an opportunity to stabilize housing," Foley said during a news conference Thursday.
She says space is a major problem. At their current location, there is just one building. At the new location, there are eight. Four of those will be used as emergency shelter, meaning more beds will be available for woman who need it. "We will only be as strong as we're willing to not turn a blind eye, roll up our sleeves and do this work," Foley said.
The buildings will also include residential substance abuse treatment, which is the first on-site partnership in west Kentucky. Griffin said her life was saved by it, and she hopes others can experience the joys of living fully.
"I was ending up nowhere, and I know I wanted so much more for my life," Griffin said.
The closing date is set for Sept. 26, but Foley expects to close before then. The Merryman House is partnering with Mountain Comprehensive Care Center, which will offer the substance abuse treatment and pay for half the costs to purchase the property.
Twenty to 30 new jobs are expected because of the expansion.