Episode #75 Domestic Violence Help with Tracey McConnell

Help for Domestic Violence


Tracey McConnell is the Community Development Director with Verde Valley Sanctuary. A big believer in collaboration, Tracey works with donors, volunteers, and friends to help families break free from devastating violence and choose a healthier reality.

Tracey is no stranger to the nonprofit sector, having spent the past three decades as a philanthropic advisor, community facilitator, and grassroots organizer. She has produced a multi-million-dollar citizen-driven infrastructure to prevent raging floods in vulnerable rural neighborhoods and implemented and supervised state renowned AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA programs (the domestic PeaceCorps). Tracey has also helped establish new nonprofit capacity-building centers and county-wide and statewide initiatives to address very challenging community issues.

Drawing on 30 years of experience, Tracey now focuses mainly on community and fund development. To contact Tracey McConnell please reach her at the Verde Valley Sanctuary office in Sedona at (928) 282-2755 or email development@verdevalleysanctuary.org.



The Three Keys for Verde Valley Sanctuary 

(where abuse ends and healing begins)

  • Empower victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault.
  • Expand services with three distinct phases, and incorporate a Trauma Informed Care Design.
  • Embrace a triple bottom line: peoplesustainability, and the planet

We are going GREEN and the benefits are compelling.

QUESTION: Could you share a bit about the Verde Valley Sanctuary?

For the past 25 years, Verde Valley Sanctuary has been quietly taking care of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault 24/7, 365 days a year. 

Our mission is to decrease the harm of domestic violence and sexual assault through awareness, education, intervention, advocacy and new opportunities. 

We offer a range of services free of charge to our clients:

  • 24 hour emergency hotline
  • Safe shelter
  • Legal advocacy
  • Counseling and action planning
  • Safety and exit planning
  • Youth education
  • Trauma support groups
  • Community workshops and customized presentations
  • Two Twice Nice Thriftiques (Sedona & Cottonwood) which directly support the needs of our clients and produce 20% of our annual operations income.

We are the only organization in the entire rural region dedicated to protecting, assisting and empowering victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault. We partner with numerous agencies to help families get the help they need.

QUESTION: How are things going for the organization? Any interesting developments?

This past year, VVS has experienced unprecedented demand for services. Some clients and children have had to stay in hotels because we didn’t have room at the shelter. We have had to hire additional victim advocates and therapists. The hotline calls have increased six to nine-fold over the past two years.

QUESTION: So, what is the organization going to do differently?

Our vision is to expand services with three distinct phases, incorporating a Trauma Informed Care Design.

Phase One: Renovate the main 24-bed shelter building to enhance beauty, dignity, functionality, and additional safety. 

Phase Two: Expand the shelter by removing the existing modular home with four bedrooms, and replace it with a three-story building to double the number of bedrooms for clients with special needs and pets. 

Phase Three: Build a Dignity Center (Personal Development Academy) and Transitional Housing. 

QUESTION: What about this vision is entrepreneurial in nature?

Our organization embraces a “triple bottom line,” whose pillars are peoplesustainability, and the planetWe are going GREEN and the benefits are compelling:

  • Reduce carbon footprint
  • Reduce operational costs
  • Enhance ability to deliver on our mission
  • Address global issues at a local level

(domestic violence, sexual assault, affordable housing, trauma, green/ sustainable operations)

  • Produce a green “ripple effect” 

QUESTION: What about the organization tells you that this entrepreneurial approach can be achieved?

VVS currently utilizes programmatic best practices along with operational transparency, effectiveness and long-range financial stability practices. 

The organization has more than 20 years experience in operating social enterprises which supply 20% of our annual income. 

The organization has 25 years of experience in our local communities, and we collaborate daily with all economic sectors to support client success.

What we aim to accomplish is a form of social entrepreneurship. This is more than a nonprofit purpose and more than an economic activity – it gives society positive world-changing solutions at a local level and at a time when we need them. 

This new venture vitalizes our commitment to the mission: Decrease the harm of domestic violence and sexual assault through awareness, education, intervention, advocacy and new opportunities; and prevent abuse.

We believe that a powerful vision and intention can elicit a better reality, especially when it truly aligns with who we are as an organization. 

We also believe that the resources will follow and produce a level of surprising prosperity for the clients and the communities we serve.

QUESTION: How can people and organizations across the nation help you achieve this entrepreneurial vision?

As you can imagine, providing financial support would definitely help us achieve our vision. Visit us at https://verdevalleysanctuary.org/support-us/

Please share any trustworthy resources for building and operating green and sustainably:

  • Funding (donors with a passion, foundations, government agencies)
  • In-kind and low-cost suppliers of green products and building materials
  • Innovative & Resourceful Expertise (Designers, Engineers, Contractors, Advisors, and leading-edge students who want an internship to build their portfolio)

Kindly keep us in mind with giving opportunities within your family, business and personal networks. We’ll put these valuable resources to great use, and they will ultimately help us with the green rippling effect. Thank you!

Learn more from Holly Porter at www.HollyPorter.com. Email questions & inquiries to Holly@HollyPorter.com

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