Desert View Counseling, 905 W. Apache St., is hoping to spread the word that they can help. The nonprofit has funds available to assist any victim of a crime.
Crime victim funds have been sub-granted to nonprofits and governmental programs throughout New Mexico as a result of the federal Crime Victims Reparation Act, which provides assistance to victims of violent crime by helping defray expenses incurred as a result of being victimized.
Desert View is the sole organization in San Juan County to receive crime victim fund money. The agency expects to distribute between $3,000 and $5,000 this year to crime victims. Desert View provides crisis support and recovery services, as well as individual and family counseling, adolescent outpatient drug and alcohol services, parenting classes and survivor-centered trauma services for victims of sexual assault.
"The funds, given on a one-time basis, are for any service that responds to the emergency or immediate need victims have following a crime, including counseling, food, clothing, dental work, temporary housing, etc.," said Rick Quevedo, Desert View's director.
For example, Quevedo said, if victims of a house break-in had windows or locks broken, the funds can be used to help with repairs. If the crime took place in a victim's house and the victim is afraid to remain in the home, funds could go toward deposits and rent for temporary housing. The money can also be used to help spouses of individuals who have been sent to jail, if the incarcerated person was the only source of income.
"The funds can be used to help with rent or utilities in these instances, but the name of the perpetrator cannot be listed on the bill," said Quevedo.
Quevedo said a police report or verification from another agency advocating for the victim is required when the victim applies for the funds, and they must be applied for within a reasonable time after the crime occurred.
Desert View's victim advocate Ashley Quevedo, the director's niece, said the agency helps an average of 10 to 12 sexual assault victims per month, and half of those they've helped in the past have applied for and received the funding.
"This type of emergency support is really important for crime victims to receive," she said. "We have people come here who are so grateful because they had nowhere else to turn. It helps them get their life back the way they want it to be."
Ashley Quevedo said the funds have even been used to help victims of bullying buy replacement eye glasses. She added that applicants have to have been turned down for help by at least three other agencies before they are eligible to apply at Desert View.
Leigh Black Irvin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4610. Follow her on Twitter @irvindailytimes
For information about funding for crime victims, contact Desert View Counseling at 505-326-7878 or go to www.desertviewsas.org.