Verde Valley Sanctuary’s mission is to decrease the harm of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking and help prevent additional abuses. The Verde Valley Sanctuary (VVS) began in 1993 (28 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 in Flagstaff, Prescott, and Phoenix. Thanks to generous donations from the community, VVS opened the first shelter in 1994 in a leased modular home that slept six.
Since then, the Verde Valley Sanctuary has strategically expanded and now offers comprehensive services for victims of family violence and assault including a 28-bed shelter, 24-hour crisis hotline, a 6-bedroom transitional housing complex, advocacy and counseling services, legal support, and community wide education and prevention programs.
In a constant push towards self-sufficiency, VVS runs three ‘Thriftique’ stores; one in Sedona one in Cottonwood, and a brand new one in Camp Verde. These high-class boutiques are revenue generators, providing 25% of the Sanctuary’s annual income.
All items are donated through the generosity of our local communities. Verde Valley Sanctuary’s Twice Nice Thriftiques sell gently used donations of clothing, furniture, and other household items at a discounted price. The thriftiques are also a place for clients to shop (at no cost) to obtain needed clothing and houseware items for setting up their new place of residence. Located in Sedona, Cottonwood and Camp Verde, these classy upscale boutiques are the public face for the Sanctuary, and often the first contact with donors, volunteers, partners, and clients. Stores also give back to the community via donations to organizations (e.g., Fort Verde Museum, Heard Museum, Historical Society of Sedona, and Navajo Museum).
Store staff and volunteers promote the Sanctuary’s mission, receive tax credit donations, spread the word about public events, and provide a safe place for victims of abuse 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. Thriftiques are good stewards of the environment; they recycle every donation that cannot be sold.
Volunteers make it possible for the staff to keep the stores beautiful, offer a genuinely welcoming shopping experience, generously meet the needs of clients, and enable us to be open 6 days a week. Volunteers build new skills, become valuable members of a caring family-like environment, and receive 50% discount at all stores. Customers often share “We like the energy here!”
The Sanctuary’s vision is to renovate, expand, and sustain our services with five distinct phases.
VVS Achieved Phase 1: Renovate the main “Shelter” building to enhance beauty, dignity, and additional safety. Cost: $250,000.
VVS is Focused on Phase 2: Provide transitional housing and increase sustainable revenue. Pay for a new transitional housing complex.This property provides vital pet-friendly transitional housing for six (6) clients. Pay for the new Twice Nice Thriftique property in Camp Verde, which will provide more sustainable revenue. Cost: $1,000,000.
VVS Phase 3: Expand the Shelter. This building expansion will double the number of bedrooms and accommodate clients with special needs, pets, as well as a basement for ongoing group therapy and staff training and development. Cost: $1,000,000.
Phase 4: One-Stop Center. This building will provide eight offices to support all essential services, except for Shelter. The shelter is located on a confidential and unpublished property, in order to ensure victim safety. The one-stop resource center for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault offers everything victims may need at any stage of their journeys, whether they’re ready to leave immediately or need help coming up with a plan for an eventual escape. From the center, a victim can file charges, secure an order of protection, connect to legal services, connect to community resources, and be linked to short-term shelter or transitional housing. Cost: $1,500,000.
Phase 5: Transitional Housing. Build tiny homes for clients who need time to prepare for successful independent living. The need for safe, affordable housing for victims of domestic violence is well documented. Without access to housing options, women fleeing from abusive relationships are often forced to live in substandard conditions. While many battered women need only short-term, emergency shelter, others face numerous barriers to achieving independence and require long-term housing assistance and a variety of support services. Cost: Under advisement.
For more information or to make a donation, contact Community Development Director Tracey McConnell at (928) 282-2755, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website https://www.verdevalleysanctuary.org.