Kim Shreeve, an advocate for children in crisis
December 25, 2013
Kim Shreeve, child and family advocate for Advocates Crisis Support Services, moved from Salt Lake City to Craig in March. She admits the change came with some culture shocks.
Some of those shocks had to do with the weather; getting used to mud season and enduring sub-zero temperatures that made her reconsider her wardrobe.
But most of the shock had to do with the services available to families in crisis. She has always worked with families, children and often focused on helping people in crisis. She is passionate about her job, but it has taken some getting used to in such a small community.
Started in a basement, Advocates has been serving Moffat County since 1978, providing a safe space for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The advocates are facilitators to those in crisis – connecting people to resources that are hard to find when people are out of a home and support system.
Shreeve's primary role is to focus on keeping children from getting re-traumatized after their family seeks assistance from Advocates.
"Even though people may not choose to think about it, the impact on children with domestic violence is profound and long-term," said Sharon Farquhar, executive director of Advocates. "That's why we have (Shreeve's) position."
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Shreeve helps families navigate an often frustrating system, that can be even more frustrating when the family is trying to escape a violent situation.
"I probably get four to five referrals for families a month: families looking for food, clothes for their kids, or looking for a safe place," she said.
It took Shreeve about five months to get used to the local services that Moffat County had to offer, she said. The challenges are different ones than people may face in a metro area.
Some of the largest issues Craig faces regarding survivors of domestic violence and assault is limited public transportation, public housing and childcare services.
"We want families to be able to live their lives just as if they didn't need services," Shreeve said.
Shreeve wants to work with the community to expand services.
"I want every family in Moffat County to get resources," she said. "Every child deserves to have a safe place to go."
The job hasn't been so easy, but she remains upbeat because of the good work Advocates has accomplished.
"It can be a tough job for sure," she said. "But, every once in a while you have a family you really help."
It's been exciting to Shreeves, this holiday season, to see the outpouring of support from the community.
"We're a non-profit so we really rely on the kindness and generosity of our community," she said. "You got this sense of a community (that) takes care of each other."
With the help of the other agencies, Shreeve wants to make Craig a better place for everyone.
"(I am) here to support children/teens and adults who are survivors of assault. I'm a voice for kids when they can't speak for themselves," she said.
Contact Erin Fenner at 970-875-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org.