By Angela Alfaro, Servicios de la Raza, Photos by Ron Washington, for Latin Life Denver Media (see photo gallery below)
“There is not one person who does not know someone that has been affected by domestic violence. Domestic Violence continues to permeate families, communities, and society” Denver Police Department, Commander Paul Pazen told the crowd at the Servicios de La Raza’s VISTAS program on October 11, 2017. The agency hosted their first Evening of Hope dinner in honor of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month .
The event held at Tres Garcias Restaurant in Denver not only celebrated the work done day in and day out by those who work at VISTAS but also highlighted agency partners and survivors.
State House Representative Joe Salazar echoed that in this time of crisis, over 20 million Americans are victimized by domestic violence each year and that organizations like Servicios de La Raza are critical to serving those needs.
Silvia Gamboa, Director of VISTAS, reminded the crowd that it is always someone’s mother, daughter, father or son, bringing a human face to statistics. “Take a better look and remember that we do the work we do because we are the voice of the voiceless and the fight is not yet over,” she said
Ana Miller, a survivor of violence, courageously shared her story and thanked Servicios for helping her through a traumatic event involving a racial attack against her daughter and the legal process that ensued.
Servicios de La Raza is a grassroots nonprofit organization that has been around for over 45 years, providing basic human needs to the community. The mission is to provide and advocate for culturally responsive, essential human services and opportunities
These services are intended to assist low-income members of the community in overcoming the range of problems that result in a lack of resources and contribute to the perpetuation of the vicious cycle of poverty. Because of the value placed on the community, culture and language, Servicios de La Raza serves as an integral part of the heart of the Latino community in Metro Denver, a trusted and accessible community resource strategically linked with many of Metro Denver’s schools and churches. Equally important, Servicios de La Raza is also a primary service referral channel for many human services agencies and institutions in the Metro Denver region as they encounter Latino clientele.