The name Nueva Creación (New Creation) for the women’s and children’s shelter in Puerto Peñasco is now more appropriate than ever.
Last year, the shelter, was judged by city officials to be unsafe, but there was little the directors of this non-profit facility could do. Just feeding the nearly two dozen women, children, and teens, and keeping the utilities paid was already a challenge. Thankfully, help found them.
Nancy Britos, founder of Women Helping Women, and her powerhouse committee of tireless volunteers, which includes Sylvia Cox, Carol Roberson, Kathy Van Holton, Dana Ryan, Candace Garvey and Britos, generated more than $12,000 with their 2019 Benefit Breakfast, raffle and auction. But additional funds would be needed for the building project that was needed.
Lupita, the shelter director, secured donations from a church in Phoenix and individual donors, to fund the foundation for the new building. Then construction could begin.
“The area that the families used as common space with more than 20 beds and a bathroom, had to be torn down and a new building created,” Britos explained.
After almost a year’s work, with help from WHW committee members, local workers and generous friends, a solid, well-insulated, air-conditioned building now houses the residents who are there because of domestic violence, addiction, or abandonment.
“We owe so many people a big thank you. Larry and Carol Larson donated toilets, showers and sinks for the new bathroom, Candace Garvey provided the roofing for the building, Kathy Van Holton helped to finish the interior of the building, and Dana Ryan, Carol Roberson and Sylvia Cox provided funds for food and cleaning supplies,” Britos said. “They all personally donated to get the construction done and to provide food for the residents.”
She added a special thanks to Bill Gallagher for support of the shelter and to Mark Shuller who donated funds every month throughout the COVID lockdown and is still helping today.
Even before the project was completed, the committee, started soliciting donations for the third annual Benefit Breakfast which will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 10 a.m. at Puesta del Sol. Money from that event will take the facility even farther, providing a clean, indoor laundry facility, water pressure tank and making the remodel of that old bathroom possible.
“A safe and comfortable place is important,” Britos said, “but food is the top priority. The children cannot go hungry. During the COVID-19 quarantine we delivered food and cleaning supplies every two or 3 weeks and we continue to help supply food and whatever the shelter cannot afford. These are still difficult times.”
The Benefit Breakfast on Nov. 18 is just one way to help. Those who would like to make a donation or help with the continuing construction project, can contact Nancy Britos by e-mail at WHWPenasco@yahoo.com.
Women Helping Women committee members (L-R) Carol Roberson, Kathy Van Holton, Nancy Britos, Sylvia Cox and Dana Ryan (not pictured is Candace Garvey) have worked tirelessly to create a safe and comfortable space for women and children at the shelter.
Removing the old building to make way for the new.
The new bunk bed area for women and their children.
A covered patio provides extra living space
Next goal is to create a suitable laundry area and purchase a new pressure pump.