In the pursuit of providing a sanctuary for those grappling with domestic violence, Grammy’s House, Artesia Domestic Violence Shelter, emerged in 1993 as a beacon of hope. Originating from the collective vision of committed volunteers, this organization stands as a testament to the resilience of those who have dedicated themselves to ensuring the safety and well-being of women, children, and even pets affected by domestic violence.
Over the past 30 years, Grammy’s House has changed to meet the evolving needs of its community. Initially, victims were placed in discounted hotel rooms or relocated to different cities, but today, the organization boasts its own fully accredited shelter. Grammy’s House not only provides shelter but a comprehensive suite of services including groups, peer counseling, therapy, legal advocacy, court support, parenting classes, and the innovative Kid’s Talk program, all aimed at helping families navigate the complexities of life affected by domestic violence.
Funding challenges have been a recurring hurdle for Grammy’s House, with both state and federal allocations diminishing over the years. Despite these setbacks, the unwavering dedication of the organization’s employees has allowed the shelter to keep its doors open, ensuring that essential services remain intact. The commitment of the community, along with local, county, and state funders, has played a crucial role in Grammy’s House not only sustaining itself but thriving.
Grateful for the support, Grammy’s House has utilized funding to renovate its shelter, administrative building, and restore the historic Sally Chisum home, a rental property. This refurbishment signifies a commitment to creating a conducive environment for healing and growth. The organization has also expanded its services to stay responsive to the ever-changing needs of the community.
Currently, Grammy’s House provides a spectrum of services, including 24-hour domestic violence shelter services with short and long-term options. The shelter, boasting 19 beds with round-the-clock security, offers domestic violence victim advocacy, legal support, peer-crisis counseling, children’s services, therapy, and even pet kennels for the furry companions of those escaping domestic violence.
Legal advocacy and court support are pivotal components of Grammy’s House services, aiding victims in filing orders of protection, managing custodial matters, divorce-related issues, injunctions, elder abuse petitions, and child abuse petitions. The organization further extends support with court transportation when needed.
In their commitment to holistic healing, Grammy’s House hosts “Love and Logic” parenting classes, based on a curriculum from The Love and Logic Institute. These classes, conducted weekly, are tailored for parents who have endured domestic violence. Concurrently, the “Kids Talk” support group offers a warm and nurturing environment for children who have experienced or witnessed domestic violence, guiding them towards coping with such situations in a safe and peaceful manner.
The Children’s Capacity Project focuses on family counseling and therapy for victims of crime, offering intensive psychological and psychiatric treatment for individuals and family members. This includes evaluation of mental health needs and the delivery of psychotherapy in crisis situations.
Recognizing the importance of addressing the root causes, Grammy’s House facilitates the Adult Intervention Program (AIP), a 52-week court-ordered program for both men and women who have committed domestic violence offenses. Separate sessions are available for women, acknowledging the gender differences relevant to domestic violence offenses.
The organization’s commitment extends to the well-being of family pets with the “Lightning’s Run” pet kennel service. Established in 2018 through the fundraising efforts of Linda Moreno, this on-site pet kennel service comprises four full-service kennels, allowing clients and their children to stay near their pets during their stay. These kennels, at full capacity, can house up to 8 pets.
Grammy’s House also plays a vital role in education and training on domestic violence dynamics. Trained educators are available to enlighten healthcare professionals, law enforcement officials, clergy members, faith-based leaders, community organizations, corporations, and professional associations. Those interested in scheduling training or presentations can contact the executive director at Grammy’s House.
A significant aspect of Grammy’s House prevention strategy involves partnerships with area schools. Programs are presented in classrooms in an age-appropriate manner, raising awareness on how gender roles, cultural expectations, and societal norms influence dating violence. Students are educated on resources, risk reduction strategies, and bystander intervention. Additionally, staff in-services and parent information sessions are available, fostering a community-wide understanding of the importance of preventing domestic violence.
As Grammy’s House continues to evolve, it remains a pillar of strength for those in need, unwavering in its commitment to breaking the cycle of domestic violence and offering a path towards healing and hope. The journey of Grammy’s House exemplifies the profound impact that a community-driven initiative can have in addressing and combating domestic violence.