FARMINGTON — New Beginnings plans to expand its services for women and children fleeing domestic violence.
And the Farmington nonprofit is hosting a yard sale fundraiser on April 5 to cover the cost of that additional help.
New Beginnings, the Navajo United Methodist Center shelter, offers transitional housing and support to women and children who are victims of domestic violence. The program has served as a safe haven for domestic violence victims since 1994.
In addition to shelter, the organization provides life skills, employment training and self-esteem building to women coming out of violent situations.
It is the only shelter of its kind in San Juan County, said Tiffany Hergenreter, the president of the nonprofit's board of directors. She said 70 percent of women who complete the New Beginnings program continue to live violence-free lives and are able to support their children.
"In the last year, three women were killed by their abusers in San Juan County," she said. "That means kids were left without a mother, and probably also without a father."
Hergenreter said New Beginnings made it through a financial shortfall last year thanks to the generosity of the community, which responded to several of the organization's fundraisers.
Now, the organization hopes to expand its services and is seeking funds to provide travel trailers or mobile homes to women and children exiting the one-year program.
"Women leaving our program often ask if they can continue to stay and pay rent because the wait for housing in this area is at least a year. But we can't do that because we have to make room for other victims," Hergenreter said. "We have a lot of land, and we would like to get some mobile homes set up for the ladies."
The hope, Hergenreter said, is providing the women with trailers they can eventually move to a location of their choice will give them the time they need to successfully transition to living independent lives.
"We'd also like to be able to help the fathers, because they're still sick. We'd like to see them get help and counseling," she said.
At the yard sale event, Hergenreter said lunch from "Hot Dig it Dee Dogs" and bake sale items will be available, as will freshly-brewed Navajo tea from the New Beginnings Navajo Tea Project.
"The New Beginnings program offers hope to survivors of the horrible epidemic of domestic violence. It gives them a chance to become self-sufficient," she said.