The women's shelter started out in the basement of a Church in 2008, with limited capacity and volunteers. There was one VISTA at the time, a young woman named Ally. In the first four months the shelter served 35 women and 7 children.
It was because of the VISTA's hard work in the beginning, leading the volunteers and outreaching to the community, that the shelter was able to expand into it's current location.
Two other VISTAs stepped in-- Erika and Jennifer. They were amazing young ladies as well who dealt with getting our new building up to code, furnished and functioning properly for women and children. Erika canvassed the community; giving presentations, talking to people and businesses, letting the community know that Prescott Area Shelter Services needed support, and raising awareness about the fact that Prescott now had a women's shelter. She formed concrete relationships that we still maintain years later. Additionally, she wrote grants which were instrumental in getting the shelter where it is today. Erika also helped to launch two solid fundraisers. With her ingenuity, she came up with lasting ideas for the shelter to use for years to come.
The shelter expanded from one women's shelter to a Women's Shelter, a Family Shelter, and a Transitions program (which helps residents transition out faster with help of rental deposit and utility deposit). The Women's shelter, formerly called Prescott Area Women's Shelter, has been renamed Prescott Area Shelter Services due to the addition of the other programs. Our income and our budget has more than doubled, as a direct result of the hard work the VISTAs put into this project. Without the VISTAs, this project would have taken triple the time to get going, and they truly put our organization on the map, so to speak, with their dedication and hard work! We will be ever grateful for the work of the VISTAs. Currently we have no VISTA, due to the fact that PASS has now reached a point were we are able to make do without a VISTA position. While we miss the energy and compassion a VISTA brings, we are also very excited to be in a position of not needing to rely on the help any longer!
We thank you all!!!!