Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Becky's Place raises funds for new, larger safe house

 

March 12, 2020 | View PDF



Becky’s Place Haven of Hope owners are fundraising for a eight-bedroom, five-bathroom house that would serve as transitional housing for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

Becky’s Place can currently house up to six people at a time in their two-bedroom safe house that owner Jackie Mazeikas, a former SEARHC sexual assault and health educator, and her husband, Stan, opened in 2015.

“We can’t handle any more than that at one time,” Mazeikas said. “We’re just too small. With a larger transitional house and safe house we could have (a staff member) living there 24/7. That’s our next step and our next vision. It could take care of so many needs for us and help us take care of people for a longer period of time.”

They are hoping to raise $500,000 for a house on Piedad Road. Mazeikas said each year they provide temporary housing to about 35 people, and give other assistance to more than 100.

She said since opening they’ve helped women, children and men from as far away as Kodiak, Fairbanks and Anchorage.

“They’re fleeing, sometimes bruised and bleeding. It can vary,” Mazeikas said of the victims. “We get them when they’re trying to regroup, sleep and rest. We start brainstorming on what the next steps may be, what direction they want to go in. We come up with a few different options and choose one.”

Mazeikas said the additional rooms would provide more relief for victims in need of longer-term housing. The nonprofit would aim to keep a staff member posted at the house 24 hours a day.

SEARHC domestic violence prevention coordinator Samantha Clay cited Alaska’s high rate of domestic violence as a reason an expanded safe house would serve Haines well.

“It’s a very much needed resource so we can help the people in our community and have it available in Southeast,” Clay said. “Anything we can do to provide that safety for people, and to let people know it’s available, I think is very important.”

Debi Knight Kennedy donated to the fundraiser. “I know, personally, what it means to have the need to get out, to escape, and to have nowhere to go,” she said. “I am grateful that those in need, here, now, have that option. I donate to Becky’s Place whenever I can, always with the hope that someday we won’t need such a place.”

As of this week, $465 has been contributed to a gofundme.com account set up last month.

“There is such a need in our tiny community and the surrounding area,” Mazeikas said. “We’re so thankful for the support we’ve had. We could not do what we do without our amazing community.”

 
 

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