Please explain the Hope’s Door New Beginning Center’s mission and how you got involved with the organization.
For more than 35 years, Hope’s Door New Beginning Center has been a haven and a resource for those fleeing abuse in Collin County and Northeast Dallas County. Every day there are victims in our community who live in fear every minute of their lives and believe there is no way out. We are here to help by providing intervention and prevention services to individuals and families affected by family violence. One of my first jobs in the domestic violence field was at New Beginning Center 20 years ago. In February 2020, I had the privilege of returning to this amazing organization as Chief Executive Officer.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Working with domestic violence victims is simply my life’s work. I have had the real honor to work alongside survivors as a social worker for more than 20 years in various settings and many capacities. I am a mother, a partner, a daughter, an advocate, a friend, and a fierce community advocate. I have had the amazing opportunity to serve on the boards of the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center, the Supervised Visitation Network, and the Texas Association of Sexual Assault. Currently, I serve on the Executive Council of the Homeless Collaborative of Dallas/Collin Counties. When not focusing on my advocacy work, I enjoy service work alongside a great community of volunteers through Altrusa International of Downtown Dallas.
What makes HDNBC so special and impactful to the Dallas/Fort Worth community?
Our free programs and services encompass Safety, Healing, Advocacy, and Prevention with the goal to help turn a victim into a survivor. The services offered range from two emergency shelters to counseling where our clients develop safety plans, stronger coping skills, and heal from the symptoms of the trauma they have experienced. In 2020 we answered over 5,000 calls on our hotline, housed 142 individuals, and provided over 11,000 nights of safe shelter. Beyond the impact in the lives of women, men and children who often turn to us when a home is not safe, we bring education and prevention resources to the community bringing awareness to over 35,000 people every year. We know stopping abuse in the home takes the work of all community members and we must reach those who may never cross the door of a domestic violence agency – that’s why it takes you and all community partners to amplify the voices of survivors and create community solutions where violence in the home is not tolerated.
What do you enjoy the most about being a part of the HDNBC organization?
Very simply, the people, the work, and the community bring such joy to this hard daily work. Although it can be challenging, knowing that so many community members have experienced domestic violence and often suffer in silence keeps me grounded in this larger movement of fierce advocates from across this community, making Dallas and Collin Counties a place where domestic violence is not okay, and sending a clear message there is help.
How does support from community partners like Highland Park Village help HDNBC have a greater impact?
Community partners like Highland Park Village make it possible for survivors of domestic violence to seek support, safety, and resources. The partnership for our signature event, Tapestry of Hope, not only brings community members closer to our cause but is a beacon of leadership in the Dallas area that makes a statement. This issue is important, we all have a role we can play to support these services, and we are invested in saying home should be a safe place for all.
What are some ways people in North Texas can get involved with HDNBC?
As we commit to creating a truly safe and healthy future for all, we know that wellness is interconnected: by helping someone in need, helpers increase their own well-being; by promoting civic engagement for employees, employers benefit from a staff that is enriched and fulfilled. By coming together to end violence and oppression, the entire community thrives. We offer opportunities for people to engage in this mission in whatever way they can. Invite a speaker, volunteer at our amazing Resale Store, host an event, deliver a meal to the shelter – volunteers are an important vital part of our work, and we need you! Community members can also get involved by simply raising their voice in the community to support domestic violence legislation, challenge harmful stereotypes that perpetuate violence, and tell others you support this cause with your words, volunteerism, and financial support.
Lastly, where would we most likely find you in Highland Park Village?
I lived adjacent to Highland Park Village in the most charming apartment while in my 20s. I loved early morning weekend walks where I usually found my way to a cup of coffee in hand and an early morning stroll by the window displays in the Village. It was a great way to enjoy the shops before the hustle and bustle and soak up the artistry of the international and local influences. These days you can still find me popping in Anthropologie to pick up great gifts, shopping at new obsession Trina Turk, and sharing a margarita at Mi Cocina – you just can’t resist!
Highland Park Village is proud to spotlight our very own dynamic personalities and community partners in the Village Voices series. Get to know our past features.