Interview with Laura Horsley | Eve’s Place
We were so pleased to have the Executive Director of Eve’s Place with us for our Blog Talk Radio Show last month. This month, on February 29th, we’re pleased to announce that we’ll have Councilman Sal DiCiccio on the show, to get his point of view on how he works as an advocate within the Arizona government to keep this vital funding in place.
You can join us for the show live or you can always listen to the recording from the website at your convenience. Here’s the link to the last show with Dr. Terry Munther, Tom Loegering and Laura Horsley.
Interview with Laura Horsley on Blog Talk Radio
Eve’s Place is a program that provides emergency shelter services – will be 7 years old in April. We’ve been there for 5 years. It started out as grassroots volunteer organization within a church who thought there should be a place for women to go in the Northwest valley instead of Phoenix. A few women got together and had focus groups in the community and formed a Board and off they went. They had a plan and a goal. I joined the organization when it was 2.5 years old – opened first thrift store and 12 beds, 8 employees. State funding was a game changer – hired formal staff and went from 12 to 38 beds in 7 months. There was quick growth in the beginning and then leveled out, before the economy started struggling; lost $200K in the course of a year. We have to constantly re-evaluate our goals, as highlighted in Tom’s book. 7 Board of members are awesome, constantly looking at new ways to serve the community. We are different than most programs – don’t have a huge facility and we co-mingle with the community and it works better for our residents. They feel like home and many come with not many of their belongings, transition to our new home, and then move on to their new lives. Staff is very welcoming, and the apartment complex is very supportive to our residents. Families re-bond and restructure in a safe environment. We try to bring in folks to teach residents new ways to do things in their lives – whether it’s success, better parenting, providing pet therapy for the children, or how to be successful in their lives. We’re going to be adding AA groups onsite, so we’ll have a well-rounded program and resources to provide the ways for them to eliminate what caused their issues that landed them there.
A little about Eve’s Place funding and how is Board elected. 2 Original members are still with us; we are actively recruiting members. Right now we’re looking for certain individuals – banking individuals, people with monetary resources. The process of recruiting new members involves an application process and they meet with the board to see if they’re a good fit or not. Tom: If they’re interested, how do they contact you? Contact the office at 623-547-6175.
Funding through the Dept. of Economic Security is primary funding. 2.5 years ago contract with Dept. of Public Safety came through from them. Have 2 thrift stores to help supplement income – heavily reliant on State funding so we needed to adapt by trying new things like the thrift stores. Call 623-547-6175 to contact if you’re interested in assisting. Website @ www.safetyatevesplace.org has information about donations and how to donate items or money. Schedule a pick up for large items – call office for info.
Many of the residents are trying to work on continuing education or GED’s so they can get a better job position. Tom: How are you addressing these educational needs? Partner with groups, FreshStart and other programs that give training on Resume writing, job interview skills. We appreciate Tom coming out weekly to mentor the residents. This is a priority to most of our residents, to expand their skills and education so that they can stand on their own two feet. They have no idea where to start, so it’s valuable that you’re helping them with resources and making those contacts.
The main objective of the class from the book is to get them to write down their goals and visualize them. Look into the future to see what they want to have vs. where they’re at now. Then make a plan on how they want to get there – what will it take to achieve …, how will I get to this goal… and work backwards from where you are now to what you want to achieve. The residents are dealing with mental struggles/anguish along with possible outward bodily injuries. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men become victims of domestic violence. They can only stay at the shelter in 4 months – imagine starting from ground zero and being sent out after rebuilding in 4 months. It’s hard for most of us to fathom. We are there for them to console them, motivate them, nudge them forward and give them our time and attention. They need basic necessities – a place to sleep, live, food to eat, a feeling of safety and someone to help me get on my feet.
Donations of regular household items we need times 6 for 6 units. Pots and pans, kitchen items…donate anything that you can. Also need volunteers, help with fundraising events, which are incredibly important to our budget. We need help with ideas and people to make them happen. We have volunteer training advocates. Legislators and police force need to hold offenders accountable with tougher punishments, to keep them away from those they harm, instead of the victims having to leave their lives. Contact legislators, both state and federal, to keep funding in place to assist these families.
If you’d like to help, you can also donate a book to a resident, or purchase one for yourself. For every book purchased of $20.00, $10.00 stays at Eve’s Place and the book stays with the victim when they leave the shelters. Employment numbers have jumped from 10% to 70% among our residents, so the book and the classes are helping and are a wonderful complement to our programs and resources.