Verde Valley Sanctuary History

The Verde Valley Sanctuary (VVS) began 30 years ago as a grassroots organization of women who were concerned about domestic violence in our community. The original group of volunteers began taking crisis calls in their homes and transporting victims of abuse to the nearest shelters 50+ miles away in Flagstaff, Prescott, and Phoenix. Thanks to generous donations from the community, VVS opened the first domestic violence shelter in the Verde Valley region in 1994 with a leased modular home that slept six. Since then, VVS has strategically expanded and now offers comprehensive services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence in both residential and community based formats.

Mission

Our mission is to provide safety, services, and comfort to survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

Free Services

• Pet-Friendly Emergency Shelter 24/7/365
• Transitional Housing w/Match Savings Program
• Lay Legal Advocacy
• Community Based Advocacy
• Youth Violence Prevention Education
• Crisis Hotline 24/7/365 (928) 634-2511
• Public Outreach and Awareness

Desert Rose Court - New Service

VVS now provides a 6-unit transitional housing complex, a residency program that includes support services. Transitional housing is designed as a bridge to self-sufficiency and permanent housing. Residents can stay six months to two years.

Impact

In Fiscal Year 2022/2023, VVS provided more than 5,300 services to over 1,250 survivors of domestic and sexual violence. VVS also provided over 140 prevention education presentations to over 1,000 youth.

Verde Valley Sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and qualifying charitable organization for the Arizona Tax Credit. Federal Tax ID: #86-0741314. Qualifying Charitable Organization (QCO) Code #20041.

Margie's Story

The Verde Valley Sanctuary literally saved my life!

My gratitude quotient is off the charts. I didn’t realize I was being domestically abused. I lived with an alcoholic who was increasingly violent. It wasn’t until I was eight years into this violence that a female sheriff encouraged me to get domestic violence counseling.

Within two months of living together, he strangled me until I passed out. I knew three to six months before I left that I would die in this home if I didn’t get help. I’d come home from work, and he would be inebriated and raging. He would throw my possessions against the wall and out the door. There was horrifying name calling, degradation, and financial abuse.

He alienated me from friends and family. There was a withholding of affection, and he would tell me that I was repulsive. There were guns in the house. I lived in a very rural area and had no support system.

I learned about the VVS when I called a national hotline. One of the Advocates, Lisa, provided me with weekly education and support for nearly a year.

There is help. It is scary and challenging to leave and walk into the unknown. Yet, there is nothing worse than staying in the abuse in your own home. This is an equal opportunity problem; it breaks all stereotypes, and it crosses all demographic boundaries. This can happen to anyone.

The VVS Outreach Advocate counseled and educated me about domestic violence. I remember Lisa telling me to anticipate that he would seek me out again within three months. And that is what he did. He pulled at my heart strings; however, my intellect and the education about domestic violence helped me combat it.

My home is peaceful now; it is my sanctuary. I will not allow people who exhibit unhealthy behaviors to remain in my life. I no longer feel shame. I am back on my feet.

Verde Valley Sanctuary | PO Box 595, Sedona AZ 86339 | (928) 282-2755 | verdevalleysanctuary.org

Photo - Thriftiques

Verde Valley Sanctuary Operates 3 Thriftiques

Twice Nice Thriftiques in Sedona, Cottonwood, and Camp Verde are award-winning boutiques which support 20%-25% of VVS’ annual operations budget. VVS’ mission is to provide safety, services, and comfort to survivors of domestic and sexual violence. All Thriftique profits fund VVS’ free services.

All inventory is donated by generous community residents. The Thriftiques sell gently used donations of clothing, shoes, furniture, jewelry, books, and household items at unbelievable prices.

Sanctuary clients can shop to obtain needed clothing, furniture, and houseware items for setting up their new place of residence; all at no cost to them! Thriftiques are also good stewards of the environment; recycling 95% of all merchandise that cannot be sold. For shoppers, thrifting is an eco-friendly alternative to fast fashion, as it reduces the demand for clothing production, minimizes textile waste, and reduces our carbon footprint.

Twice Nice Thriftiques want more volunteers! Volunteers make it possible for the staff to keep the stores beautiful, offer a genuinely welcoming shopping experience, generously meet the needs of Sanctuary clients, and enable the stores to be open six days a week.

Store staff and volunteers promote the Sanctuary’s mission, encourage Arizona tax credit donations, spread the news about public events, and provide a safe place for survivors of domestic and sexual violence to find immediate refuge and support. These Thriftiques are the “Gold Standard” of thrift stores. Nothing goes on the floor without being cleaned, steamed, polished, spruced up, and attractively displayed. Join us!

Photo - Shop Donate Volunteer

Verde Valley Sanctuary Free Services

At the Verde Valley Sanctuary (VVS), we are working hard to make sure that every single person struggling with domestic and sexual violence has access to world-class resources and support. With your help, we are enhancing the lives of those affected by domestic and sexual violence by offering a wide range of programs, including:

24/7/365 Emergency Shelter and Crisis Hotline – Our shelter provides care for 32 people. When we are full, we do our best to find safe shelter for a few nights with partnering hotels until we can safely relocate survivors into the shelter or out of the Verde Valley. Unique to VVS’s emergency shelter is our pet program. There are only about a handful of shelters across the state of Arizona that have the capacity to allow survivors to bring their companion animals into shelters. In addition to staffing our 24-hour crisis line, Shelter Advocates assist survivor residents with case management, support groups, and emotional support. They also work with them to ensure they can move on to safe and stable housing once they exit the shelter.

Transitional Housing Program - Desert Rose Court is a small, 7-bedroom, 6-unit property that ensures that a small number of survivors have access to all the same services that we currently provide in the shelter and through our community-based services department, for 6 to 24 months. Rent is prorated based on a survivor’s income, although income is not a requirement of acceptance into this program. Once income is secured, survivors will be encouraged to save and VVS will match those savings, dollar for dollar for up to $500, when a survivor exits transitional housing into permanent housing.

Our Outreach Center - Offers mobile advocacy services to survivors who do not need, or choose not to enter a shelter, but need many of the same services. Those advocates meet with survivors and offer regular case management, information, referral, housing assistance, and connection to other support services a survivor, or their family, may need. They also host monthly educational support groups that are available to anyone in the community who may need them.

Our Lay Legal Advocacy Program - Lay Legal Advocates assist survivors with navigating the often confusing and intimidating civil legal system by providing them with information and resources. They also assist survivors with obtaining protection orders, completing and filing critical paperwork, petitioning for an order of protection, and attending court hearings with survivors.

Youth Empowerment Services (YES) Program - Community-Based Services Department is home to one of Arizona’s longest-standing violence prevention programs. Our YES Specialists provide violence prevention and healthy relationship education to kids in elementary, junior, and high school throughout the school year. Our YES program has been a model for other programs across the state and is another reason VVS stands apart from other agencies.

But our work is not done…

We are working hard to expand our reach, to make sure that everyone who needs our resources and support has access to them – and that our programs are accessible across the Verde Valley, statewide, and nationwide, to every affected individual and family that comes to us needing our help.

Physical space is a requirement of our current and future vision. Additionally, we know that it is better for survivors if they can access an array of services in one place. Thus, VVS’s Community-Based Services department, administrative, and executive offices need to be under one roof. When we achieve this, all services including case management, safety planning, lay legal advocacy, and community prevention education and awareness are more accessible.

We are happy to tell you that our vision of a VVS campus is within reach. We recently acquired a property in Cottonwood, just two lots over from our Cottonwood Twice Nice Thriftique, where, with your support, our vision of having services and operations in one place is becoming a reality.

You are an integral part of our work. Your support will allow us to expand our programs and our reach, and to ensure that no one facing domestic and sexual violence feels powerless or alone.

VVS Financials FY 2022/2023

Income

Grants $1,060,536.31(32%); Donations $487,506.96 (15%); Thriftiques $941,946.73 (29%); Other $782,219.42 (24%). Total $3,272,209.42 (100%)

Expense

Shelter $800,565.74 (28%); Transitional Housing $80,287.98 (3%); YES $120,333.74 (4%); Legal $212,389.15 (7%); Outreach $211,050.03 (7%); Thriftiques $755,176.19 (26%); Administration $697,775.23 (24%). Total 2,877,578.06 (100%).

It costs an average of $4,600 per shelter resident for a maximum stay of 4 months; $3,500 per outreach center survivor, which can last up to a year; $800 per legal advocacy survivor, which can last up to three years; $100 per student, which can last a lifetime.

Core Mission Support

The Verde Valley Sanctuary spends 24% of its revenue on core mission support. That means a full 76% of your gift goes directly to supporting programs and services for victims of domestic and sexual violence. Studies reveal that the usual range of overhead rates for for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations alike is approximately 25% to 35% – National Council of Nonprofits. Nonprofits spending 24% or less on operating expenses receive the highest “A” grades from CharityWatch.com.

VVS Form 990

Form 990 is an informational document that tax-exempt nonprofit organizations must file with the IRS every year. Essentially, the form functions as a report of VVS’ year of operations. Generally, the information included in Form 990 details things like the mission, the programs we oversee, and our organization’s finances. Form 990 is a public record and can be a vital tool for grantmakers and donors when researching a nonprofit.