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  • Writer's pictureJudy Maggio

A Safe Haven for U.T. Students

U.T. students who don’t feel welcomed or secure in the West Campus area could soon have a safe space to gather there. The small Congregational Church of Austin is slated to serve as a safe haven for students in the area. The nonprofit, SafeHorns, is raising money to create a community center at the church, located at 23rd St & San Antonio.The SafeHorns Community Space would be a place where students could come for everything from self defense workshops to creating art to attending educational events. 

The President of SafeHorns, Joell McNew, says, “This is beyond revitalizing the area, it’s about bringing the neighborhood together and restoring a sense of community.” 

Restarting the once popular 23rd Street Artists’ Market is another goal of the proposed SafeHorns Community Space. The market has been plagued by safety concerns and construction risks in recent years. SafeHorns would like to ensure the market is once again a place where local artists and student creators could sell their work close to campus. 

Sunday services and other church events would continue for the tiny congregation. McNew says her group’s fundraising goal of $50,000 would basically pay rent and liability insurance for a year. But if the collaboration is successful in the first 12 months, the goal is to create a longterm scommunity center for students, artists and neighbors in West Campus. 

SafeHorns is a group of UT Austin parents, students and community members dedicated to ensuring the safety of students and neighborhoods around the university. It was started after the murder of UT Freshman Haruka Wesier  in 2016. 

 For more information on the Community Space Project and SafeHorns go to


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