By Julie Hooker
Since 1995, Peace House has provided shelter for victims of domestic violence. While initially operated entirely by volunteers, trained staff are now on site 24/7. They work with the police and the community to provide a safe haven, and education to stop the cycle of violence. Now a state-licensed facility serving Summit and Wasatch counties, the charitable organization provided services free of charge for 101 adults and children in shelter in 2015, meeting all requests from the two counties.
Staff and volunteers at Peace House are like family. Everyone is passionate about the mission and making lasting change in the lives of others. Local artist Lauren Vitulli volunteered there “to use my skills to support kids living at the shelter and give them a sense of accomplishment.”
Peace House also provides community education and awareness programs to reduce violence, recognizing that domestic violence is a family issue. Even if an adult is the primary victim, children experience trauma second-hand. T erefore, the organization works to treat the entire family. Jessica Gray, Program Director, explains, “Because domestic violence can be a generational cycle, it is important to work with children and families to break the cycle before they become the next generation of victims and abusers.”
Often, victims cannot leave a violent situation because of their pets. Peace House, partnering with Nuzzles & Co., started the “Purple Paw Project” to shelter a survivor’s pets for the duration of their stay. They also provide medical care and professional training for pets that have experienced trauma.
With land in Quinn’s Junction, Peace House plans to build a new facility that will include shelter, support services, transitional housing, and childcare to meet the area’s growing needs.