February 8, 2020

Money to upgrade domestic violence shelter passes Senate Public Affairs Committee

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Matthew Reichbach

A bill to appropriate $2 million to improve an aging shelter for victims of domestic violence passed 5-0 in the Senate Public Affairs Committee late Friday.

SB 229, sponsored by Senators Antoinette Sedillo Lopez and Linda Lopez, both Democrats from Albuquerque, would provide the money from the general fund to the Department of Finance and Administration for the city of Albuquerque so the city could contract with S.A.F.E. House for significant renovations on its shelter.

According to a statement provided by Katherine Croaciata, the expert witness and executive officer of Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association, the money would upgrade the plumbing, heating and air conditioning and the electrical wiring, and close off the interior to create two private living areas instead of having one space separated by a curtain. There would also be two separate entrances instead of one and two separate and private bathrooms.

The facility is more than 100 years old and served 442 adults and more than 300 children from 2018 to 2019, according to the statement.

“The victims are recovering from horrible situations,” Croaciata said during the committee meeting. “The cottages are in desperate need of remodeling. We have two different families living in them (one cottage). They’re in disrepair. We really want to provide a space where they feel safe.”

There was no opposition to the bill and very little discussion.