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

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About VVS Services

For more information or to make a donation, contact Community Development Director Tracey McConnell at (928) 282-2755, tracey@verdevalleysanctuary.org.