MOUNTAIN HOME, Idaho — The first domestic violence shelter and safe house in Elmore County is now open. But to one inspiring Mountain Home woman, the opening of the Evans Harmony House means even more: the fulfilling of a years-long dream in the wake of a domestic violence tragedy in her own family.
"This is a good day. This is a real good day," said Kathy Figueredo, Vice President, Elmore County Domestic Violence Council. "I see Mountain Home having a sense of pride."
Before Friday, Mountain Home didn't have a safe house like this for sheltering survivors of domestic violence.
"We were transporting victims as far as Payette and into other states," said Kimberly Middleton.
But if they had, one board member on the Elmore County Domestic Violence Council says: "My daughter would be alive today," said Figueredo.
And not just her daughter -- sadly, also her unborn grandchild.
"In 2003, my daughter was murdered, and she was run down by her husband who was a military guy and she was pregnant," said Figueredo.
Figueredo says her daughter Kathleen was trying to leave her abusive husband when he killed her.
"And my daughter tried to get a lot of help, but there was no help in Mountain Home, other than maybe a crisis line," said Figueredo.
Middleton says for residents of Elmore County -- both on base and in the community -- having the safe house here will encourage more survivors to get the help they need.
"So they can stay close to their support groups, their families, they can keep their jobs," said Middleton.
The 6-bedroom facility will offer shelter, crisis, counseling, case management, court advocacy, and transitional housing referrals.
These are services Middleton and Figueredo have spent years, with their council and others, to bring to the city -- the same city where Figueredo's daughter and grandchild's lives were taken away from her 16 years ago.
"This is quite uh, an emotional time for me, it's something I've dreamed about, and I know it's gonna save a lot of people, and I'm grateful for that," said Figueredo.
Visit this link to learn how you can help or donate to the Elmore County Domestic Violence Council.