Mustang Daily (Cal Poly Daily Paper) By Raul Vasquez March 13, 2001
Occasionally Aaron Steed, co-owner of Meathead Movers in San Luis Obispo, would receive frantic calls from women in abusive situations. Steed could hear the fear and terror in the voices of these women who often didn’t have anywhere to go and nowhere to store their belongings.
Since last August, Meathead Movers, working in conjunction with the San Luis Obispo County Women’s Shelter, has been providing free moving services to these women.
“We want to give women the chance to start their lives over,” Steed said.
All services are coordinated through the county women’s shelter.
Meathead Movers, a full-service student moving company owned by Steed and his brother Evan, has been serving the community since 1996. The company is staffed by Cal Poly and Cuesta College athletes.
“It’s a great opportunity for Meathead, and I feel that it’s important for us to improve our community,” said Joey Hart, biology senior and Meathead employee. “It makes me feel great that we’re able to help them.”
During the course of Steed’s conversations with his friends and other business people, the need for assisting women in these situations became clear. Several other area business people have taken Steed’s lead and are also offering free services to these women.
Kim Conti, with Farrell A. Smyth Real Estate Company of San Luis Obispo, help abused women locate housing. After being approached by Steed, she decided that helping these women was an excellent way to give back to the community.
“I try to help locate people who take section 8, because finding a house in this market is tough,” Conti said. Section 8 is an assistance program for people with low incomes who can’t afford to pay full rent.
Another local business that Steed inspired is College Auto in San Luis Obispo. College Auto offers women a “pre-purchase evaluation” program, which helps them buy a car that will fit their needs.
“We’re interested in empowering and educating women in these situations,” said Kevin Bence of College Auto.
Many times the men have been in charge of taking care of the car, and College Auto offers several troubleshooting workshops. During these workshops, women are taught the basic skills of car maintenance.
“I thought it was a worthwhile venture,” Bence said. “If I help someone in that situation, then it’s worthwhile.”
Other businesses that offer similar services to women are SLO Kickboxing, chiropractor Karen Hill and Trisha Phipps of TriQuest Financial.