Former client dressed up the basement of the SafeHouse
One former client of the El Dorado Family LIfe Center - SafeHouse said she would not be where she is today without the help and support the SafeHouse offered.
This client wanted to give back to those who helped her, so she dressed up the basement of the SafeHouse, making it more homey and appealing to those who use it.
"It was important to me to give back to all the ladies that helped me," the client said. "Without them I wouldn't be where I am at, I would have gone back."
The client first came to the SafeHouse from a small town several hours away with her children at the help of her aunt and uncle.
She commented how welcoming everyone was.
"They bent over backward because I came here with nothing," she said. "They helped me with my self, but also were right there for my kids as well."
While she was there, her husband found out where she was at and came and took the children from school. She is still working to get them back.
She said she had been talking to her kids while they were there about giving back.
While this client was staying at the SafeHouse, they learned she liked to decorate.
"My kids were gone and I thought this was a way to give back to the KIDSAFE Program here," she said.
That program meets in the basement.
Previously the Methodist Church Youth Group and Sunday School classes had painted the office area and they put up new drapes, giving it a more open and warm feeling, but nothing had been done downstairs.
She began by repainting a dresser and fixing it up with new knobs.
"I just continued," she said.
That included repainting the walls white to freshen them up, as well as redoing the table and chairs, making pillows, making a curtain and making covers for the couches.
Darla Carter, SafeHouse director, said they had talked before about getting new couches, but didn't know how they would get the old ones out of the basement without a lot of trouble. This solved that problem, making them like new.
She also painted the floors and walls in the hallway.
"I just wanted to kind of give it a fun, little kid atmosphere," she said.
The client stayed at the SafeHouse for 30 days, then she was able to move into the new Richie's House, which opened a few months ago to help out those in need.
"It was a Godsend," the client said of Richie's House.
Carter explained they partnered with Mid-KAP to get her into the home.
"I really want it to be known how important each of you are in making things work," the client told Carter. "I came from a very small town and I think lots of people stay in those situations because they don't realize help is out there."
She remains active in the programs offered through the SafeHouse and still looks to the staff for encouragement and advice at times.
The partnership with Richie's House is just one of several partnerships the SafeHouse has with groups in the community such as partnering with the YMCA for passes.
"A lot of programs work together to make the SafeHouse a success," the client added.
For more information about the SafeHouse or to get help, call them at 321-7104. They offer a variety of programs including two for kids: KIDSAFE, an after-school program for children ages 9 to 18 who have witnessed or experienced abuse, and Teen Dating Violence Program, an interactive role playing activity.