Updated: March 22, 2021 10:30 PM
Created: March 22, 2021 09:38 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A local survivor of domestic abuse partnered with KOB 4 to help Pay it 4ward to S.A.F.E House, a domestic violence shelter in Albuquerque.
Patricia Gonzales is the director of S.A.F.E. House, which became a refuge for many people looking to escape their situation during the pandemic. She also helps run Thriftique, a local thrift store that benefits the shelter.
“A lot of times people come in and have absolutely nothing but the clothes on the back, and then open up to the public as well so any money that's generated through sales goes right back into our shelter operation,” she said.
Items donated to Thriftique are available for survivors and their children. The rest is left for the public to purchase.
“Domestic violence does not discriminate, so if you've had a situation that you find there's imminent danger, or you're homeless as a result of a domestic violence situation, you qualify for services in shelter,” Gonzales said.
The goal is to help people get back on their feet in 90 days.
“Once they're in shelter, they have access to therapy sessions, they have access to intensive case management to help support them in the search for housing, employment, childcare, legal advocacy, transportation to medical appointments, job interviews,” Gonzales said.
Like almost everything else, COVID made their work a lot harder.
“We provide a lot of services, but we also count on a lot of our community partners in support of reaching the goals for these folks, so they can get back on community and so a lot of places were shut down, or they were on limited hours, or they were close face-to-face, and some of our people in shelter didn't feel comfortable with the Zoom meetings, doing Zoom telehealth, that sort of thing, so it just made it a little more difficult to make connections,” she said.
The survivor nominated S.A.F.E. House for KOB 4’s Pay it 4ward award to thank them for the work they’re doing in the community.
“I think sometimes, you know, the work— like I said, is so incredibly important, and we don't always get to see or hear the fruits of our labor, and so to know that somebody appreciates the work that we do in support of their self-sufficiency and support of these individuals learning to live a life free of domestic violence means everything,” Gonzales said.
Her team helped empower a group of people who later came back to try and help them.
“It's good work. It feeds the soul, but we can't do this work without the generosity of the community,” Gonzales added.
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