Some people might be uncomfortable with topics such as domestic violence, abuse and neglect, but Christy McClendon faces it head-on as the new director of My Sister’s Place, a domestic violence shelter in Chandler.
McClendon took over the position in mid-July and said helping others in need is something she has always been taught to do.
"Abuse and neglect are my passion and the reason I got into social work to begin with," she said. "I came from a small community in Kentucky and I saw everyone pitching in to help. There was a great sense of community. If someone’s house burned down, the community would come together to help them."
McClendon, who has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social service, worked helping families through the Florence Crittendon organization before taking the position at My Sister’s Place.
"I think recognizing violence, abuse and neglect is so prevalent in our society, I wanted to create a safe haven for the children and the women who are fleeing domestic violence," McClendon said.
The 17-bed shelter, which is in an undisclosed location for safety reasons, also provides food and clothing to women and children it houses.
McClendon said the shelter needs volunteers and donations, including hygiene products, linens, towels, bus tickets, gift cards to Target or other stores, and new children’s toys for birthday gifts.
As the new director, she said her focus is on how the shelter can provide ongoing services for women, and how it can increase them.
"We’re always looking at how can we make sure that every woman that walks out of our doors can live a life of safety free of her abuser," McClendon said.
To learn more or to make a donation, call the shelter at (480) 821-1024. Victims of domestic violence seeking help can call the shelter, or the 24-hour victims’ referral service at (800) 799-7739.