Fundraiser slated to assist victims of domestic violence

By Diana Hutchison

ChangePoint Integrated Health recently announced they would be taking over operations of the White Mountain S.A.F.E. House, which is located in Pinetop but serves people throughout Navajo County. With plans to re-open March 1, the organization will be hosting the Breaking the Silence dinner to help raise monies to sustain the shelter.

The dinner will be held beginning at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Hon-Dah Conference Center, located at 777 Hwy 260 in Pinetop. It is anticipated that a crowd of around 350 will be in attendance.

The White Mountain S.A.F.E. House provided domestic violence shelter services in the White Mountains for over 25 years but closed in October due to lack of funding. Shortly after that closure is when ChangePoint stepped in to take it over. As they move forward with restructuring, the shelter plans on providing domestic violence counseling, housing, vocational rehabilitation and emergency help in a crisis.

ChangePoint hopes to layer the shelter services with the mental health care services they already provide. As funding permits, they will expand services based on community need. The shelter is funded through grants, fundraisers and donations.

Nathan Updike, marketing and community liaison for ChangePoint, said, “It depends on funding, but we figured we would open a little bit small and see how it is going to run and open up (more) as we get more funding.”

Initially they will provide services for 10 to 15 people including men, woman and children. Money is the key to the shelter being able to provide crucial and sometimes lifesaving services to those in the community who need it. “It will be exciting for us when we can help that first person coming through the door once we reopen,” said Updike.

Fundraising events like the Breaking the Silence dinner are so important to help the program provide long term services. Without the S.A.F.E House the nearest domestic violence shelter is over 90 miles away in Winslow.

Individual tickets for the dinner are available for $50 per person. Table sponsorships start at $600 for a table of 10 and there are additional sponsorship levels ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.

Businesses that sponsor a table will have their name on a banner above the table recognizing their sponsorship. Donations of products or services to be used as auction items are welcomed. Monetary donations are also being accepted.

For more information about the dinner, donations, or services provided by the S.A.F.E. House please contact the White Mountain Associate for Victims of Domestic Violence at (928) 367-6017 or visit www.wmsafehouse.org.