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Battered Families Services buys new beds

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My Sister’s House shelter celebrates new furnishings

Battered Families Services, Inc. recently brought smiles to the faces of shelter residents of My Sister’s House with new furnishings.

My Sister’s House is a shelter for those who have gone through domestic violence trauma and are in transition to begin a new life away from their abuser. Already having to pick up and escape their domestic violence situation at home, they are left without any of the things they rely on for everyday living.

Shelter residents were presented with several new bunk beds, an individual bed, and a state-of-the-art washer/dryer set on June 11. The shelter houses individuals and families to begin the healing process. BFS being a non-profit organization usually takes in donated furnishings from individuals and/or businesses. But on June 11, the Gallup nonprofit purchased the items new due to its financial position this year.

Emily Ellison - Interim Executive Director of BFS - says the newly welcomed furnishings are a welcome sight, not only for the residents, but for the organization as well.

“The shelter is in a financial position to buy new items such as mattresses, bunk beds, washer/dryer sets, vacuums, new stoves, instead of having residents use donation items,” she said. “Some of the improvements and changes have not happened in years or decades.”

June Chavez, shelter manager, says the new items are a blessing.

“It’s a great improvement to the shelter and all the residents are happy and we want to accommodate them. I’m happy for my residents,” Chavez said.

BFS has improved in other areas as well, streamlining the data collection process, creating a more unified computer system, and hiring key employees, two of them with Master’s degrees.

Larry Pulakos, CPA, has helped redesign the BFS financial system and is now able to effectively track every expense.

Ellison says with these new items the shelter can serve individuals with intellectual disabilities and work to place them in safe situations.

“These individuals with addictions who experienced domestic violence need … to get into rehabilitation locally or out of state,” Ellison said.

L.M. a shelter resident who did not wish to be identified by name, was thrilled as she saw the new furnishings being brought in, as if it was Christmas morning.

“They look pretty good and I’m glad that we have them, thank you,” she said.

BFS can now accommodate those individuals who call in seeking help almost on a daily basis.

The shelter has been fully operational during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Once an intake is done on the individual/family, they go through a process before being housed at the shelter including mandatory COVID-19 testing.

Then they can begin to use My Sister’s House as their own house, feeling secure, before going on to the next transition. Even with the novel coronavirus pandemic getting most of the attention, domestic violence doesn’t take a rest.

For more information on Battered Families Services and how you can help call 505-722-6389 or the Crisis hotline 505-722-7483, or visit on the web batteredfamilies.com

By Dee Velasco
For the Sun