SLO County Gazette February 21-27 2001
A handful of local businesses have stepped up to the plate to offer their services to the Women’s Shelter program, Inc. of San Luis Obispo County, but thus far their services haven’t been utilized.
However, that doesn’t mean the Women’s Shelter won’t need the services offered to the program in the near future, according to Alisa Crothers, supervisor of the case management program for the shelter.
Aaron Steed, owner of San Luis Obispo’s Meathead Movers, and Evan Steed, his brother and co-owner, approached the shelter in October of 1999 and offered their muscle to women looking to leave a domestic violence situation, but to date his services haven’t been used.
“Being in the moving industry you get a lot of emergency frantic calls from women looking to leave,” said Aaron, about why he offered his services to the women’s shelter.
He said he has confronted two aggressive males on a move during the four years he and Evan have owned and operated Meathead Movers, which also spurred him to want to help the shelter and the women it helps.
“We’re like an outfielder in a baseball game, when the guy starts throwing her stuff out on the lawn,” said Aaron. “I want to help these women get out and get on their feet. They’ve been isolated. I want them to have hope that they can have a better life.”
To date, not a single woman in the shelter’s program has requested Aaron’s services. According to Crothers, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and it doesn’t mean the shelter won’t need his muscle power in the future.
“Often time women are fleeing when they leave a domestic violence situation,” said Crothers. “So it’s not really realistic to have a mover to come in and for the women to be packed and ready.”
She also said that the shelter encourages women to stay in their homes if they’re safe and can get a kick-out order to make sure the abuser is out of the home. Crothers said the shelter isn’t always looking to move a woman out of the home, which explains why the services of Meathead Movers haven’t been employed.
“It isn’t so easy just to get out,” she said. “Why should they have to move?” The County’s current housing shortage and rents are also factors in why the shelter tries to keep the women and their children in the home whenever possible. However, if the women choose to leave the home, realtor Kim Conti with Farroll-Smith Realty will help the women find a new place to live and Patricia Phipps with Tri-Quest Financial will help the women get their financial lives in order. Both services are free.
For more information about Meathead Movers and the types of moves the business does call the Steed brothers at 544-6328.
The Women’s Shelter can be reached for counseling at 781-6406 and crisis calls should be directed to 781-6400. The shelter survives on donation, which can be made by calling 781-6401.