‘A huge answer to prayer’

Advocates connect survivors, resources

Owning a home in a safe neigh­borhood with sidewalks and good neighbors was a dream come true.

But it was a “sweat equity” spe­cial with damage and grime from years of renter abuse. Sarah knew she’d need help. Then, at the last minute, her help fell through.

Fortunately, Sarah had begun safety planning with former YWCA advocate Malia Lewis after a chance meeting, and Malia reached out to David Lopez, the Executive Director of Walla Walla University’s Center for Humanitarian Engage­ment. He brought students who scrubbed walls and cupboards, even managing to restore a tub that Sarah thought would need to be replaced.

“I kept apologizing for how filthy everything was,” said Sarah, but the students put her at ease. “They had incredible attitudes and were a huge answer to prayer.”

One student shared her phone number and came to help in the evenings, and a larger group showed up on the weekend for a massive yard cleanup.

David brought a paint sprayer and got nearly the whole interior primed and painted.

“I had no idea how much help I needed until they showed up,” said Sarah. “They still lend me tools sometimes!”


Another resource that YWCA Advocates helped the new home­owner line up: Washington State Flex Funds.

YWCA Advocate Alejandra Lopez oversees this temporary funding source and helps clients get what they need to stay safely housed.

In Sarah’s case, that meant being able to purchase security cameras to help her feel even safer in her new home.

Helping connect survivors with resources is just one more way your gifts change lives.