As the residential manager for Shelter for Help in Emergency, Andrea Domingue makes sure the shelter is operational and services are being provided. This includes ensuring that all clients and their children have sufficient nutritious food.
Each year the Shelter provides safety and services for over 400 women and children experiencing domestic violence. While at the Shelter, the women are responsible for helping with housekeeping chores as well as providing and preparing their own food. Many of the women don’t have the resources to purchase food or transportation to get to the Loaves & Fishes pantry. Those with transportation visit the pantry, while Shelter staff serve as proxies for the women without transportation, returning to the Shelter with groceries for those clients who qualify.
Shelter clients have been surprised, delighted, and grateful for the amount and quality of the food provided—especially the meats, fresh fruits, and vegetables, and some have sent notes to Loaves & Fishes expressing their gratitude.
Andrea started at the Shelter as a volunteer and has spent more than 12 years there. When she started, she was encouraged to train to answer the Shelter’s 24-hour hotline. The hotline provides a confidential source of help and support for all – women and men of all races and cultures (with translation services as needed) – experiencing the trauma of domestic violence. Andrea fell in love with the work and its reach in helping great numbers of people in the community. A key service Andrea provides is safety planning to help the callers focus on the safety of themselves and their children. She also helps with training new volunteers and fundraising events.
She says, “When you do something you love, it’s easy to get up in the morning because I know I can help people in so many ways.”