Emerge Launches New Hiring Initiative

TUCSON, ARIZONA – Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse (Emerge) is undergoing a process of transforming our community, culture, and practices to prioritize the safety, equity and full humanity of all people. To accomplish these goals, Emerge invites those interested in ending gender-based violence in our community to join in this evolution through a nationwide hiring initiative beginning this month. Emerge will host three meet-and-greet events to introduce our work and values to the community. These events will take place on November 29 from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm and on December 1 from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Those interested can register for the following dates:
During these meet-and-greet sessions, attendees will learn how values such as love, safety, responsibility and repair, innovation, and liberation are at the core of Emerge’s work supporting survivors as well as partnerships and community outreach efforts.
Emerge is actively building a community that centers and honors the experiences and intersectional identities of all survivors. Everyone at Emerge has committed to providing our community with domestic violence support services and education around prevention with respect to the whole person. Emerge prioritizes accountability with love and uses our vulnerabilities as a source of learning and growth. If you desire to reimagine a community where everyone can embrace and experience safety, we invite you to apply for one of the available direct services or administrative positions. 
Those interested in learning about current employment opportunities will have the chance to have one-on-one conversations with Emerge staff from a variety of programs across the agency, including the Men’s Education Program, Community-Based Services, Emergency Services, and administration. Job seekers who submit their application by December 2 will have the opportunity to move into an expedited hiring process in early December, with an estimated start date in January 2023, if selected. Applications submitted after December 2 will continue to be considered; however, those applicants may only be scheduled for an interview after the start of the new year.
Through this new hiring initiative, newly hired employees will also benefit from a one-time hiring bonus awarded after 90 days in the organization.
Emerge invites those who are willing to confront violence and privilege, with the goal of community healing, and those passionate about being in service to all survivors to view available opportunities and apply here: https://emergecenter.org/about-emerge/employment

Creating Safety for Everyone in our Community

The last two years have been difficult for all of us, as we’ve collectively weathered the challenges of living through a global pandemic. And yet, our struggles as individuals during this time have looked different from each other. COVID-19 pulled back the curtain on the disparities that impact communities of color experience, and their access to healthcare, food, shelter, and financing.

While we are incredibly grateful that we’ve had the ability to continue serving survivors through this time, we acknowledge that Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities continue to face racial prejudice and oppression from systemic and institutional racism. Over the last 24 months, we witnessed the lynching of Ahmaud Arbery, and the murders of Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright, George Floyd, and Quadry Sanders and many others, including the most recent white supremacist terrorist attack on Black community members in Buffalo, New York. We’ve seen increased violence toward Asian Americans rooted in xenophobia and misogyny and many viral moments of racial bias and hatred on social media channels. And while none of this is new, technology, social media, and a 24-hour news cycle have catapulted this historic struggle into our daily conscience.

For the last eight years, Emerge has evolved and transformed through our commitment to becoming a multicultural, anti-racist organization. Guided by the wisdom of our community, Emerge centers the experiences of people of color both in our organization and in public spaces and systems to provide truly supportive domestic abuse services that can be accessible to ALL survivors.

We invite you to join Emerge in our ongoing work to build a more inclusive, equitable, accessible, and just post-pandemic society.

For those of you who have followed this journey during our previous Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) campaigns or through our social media efforts, this information probably isn’t new. If you have not accessed any of the written pieces or videos in which we uplift our community’s diverse voices and experiences, we hope you will take some time to visit our written pieces to learn more.

Some of our ongoing efforts to disrupt systemic racism and prejudice in our work include:

  • Emerge continues to work with national and local experts to provide staff training on the intersections of race, class, gender identity, and sexual orientation. These trainings invite our staff to engage with their lived experiences within these identities and the experiences of the domestic abuse survivors we serve.
  • Emerge has become increasingly critical of the way we design service delivery systems to be intentional in creating access for all survivors in our community. We are committed to seeing and addressing survivors’ culturally specific needs and experiences, including personal, generational, and societal trauma. We look at all the influences that make Emerge participants uniquely them: their lived experiences, how they have had to navigate the world based on who they are, and how they identify as human beings.
  • We are working to identify and re-imagine organizational processes that create barriers for survivors to access the resources and safety they need.
  • With help from our community, we have implemented and are continuing to refine a more inclusive hiring process that centers experience over education, recognizing the value of lived experiences in supporting survivors and their children.
  • We have come together to create and provide safe spaces for staff to gather and be vulnerable with each other to acknowledge our individual experiences and allow for each of us to confront our own beliefs and behaviors that we want to change.

    Systemic change requires time, energy, self-reflection, and at times discomfort, but Emerge is steadfast in our unending commitment to building systems and spaces that acknowledge the humanity and worth of every human being in our community.

    We hope you will stay by our side as we grow, evolve, and build accessible, just, and equitable support for all domestic violence survivors with services that are centered in an anti-racist, anti-oppression framework and are truly reflective of the diversity of our community.

    We invite you to join us in creating a community where love, respect, and safety are essential and inviolable rights for everyone. We can achieve this as a community when we, collectively and individually, have tough conversations about race, privilege, and oppression; when we listen and learn from our community, and when we proactively support organizations working towards the liberation of marginalized identities.

    You can actively engage in our work by signing up for our enews and sharing our content on social media, participating in our community conversations, organizing a community fundraiser, or donating your time and resources.

    Together, we can build a better tomorrow – one that brings racism and prejudice to an end.

DVAM Series: Honoring Staff

Administration and Volunteers

In this week’s video, Emerge’s administrative staff highlight the complexities of providing administrative support during the pandemic. From rapidly changing policies to mitigate risk, to re-programming phones to ensure our Hotline could be answered from home; from generating donations of cleaning supplies and toilet paper, to visiting multiple businesses to locate and purchase items like thermometers and disinfectant to keep our shelter running safely; from revising employee services policies over and over to ensure staff had the support they needed, to quickly writing grants to secure funding for all the rapid changes Emerge experienced, and; from delivering food on site at shelter to give direct services staff a break, to triaging and addressing participant needs at our Lipsey Administrative site, our admin staff showed up in incredible ways as the pandemic rages on.
We’d also like to highlight one of the volunteers, Lauren Olivia Easter, who continued steadfast in her support of Emerge participants and staff during the pandemic. As a preventative measure, Emerge temporarily ceased our volunteer activities, and we sorely missed their collaborative energy as we’ve continued to serve participants. Lauren checked in with staff frequently to let them know she was available to help, even if it meant volunteering from home. When City Court re-opened earlier this year, Lauren was first in line to come back onsite to provide advocacy for survivors engaged in legal services. Our gratitude goes to Lauren, for her passion and dedication to serving individuals experiencing abuse in our community.

DVAM Series

Emerge Staff Share Their Stories

This week, Emerge features the stories of staff working in our Shelter, Housing, and Men’s Education programs. During the pandemic, individuals experiencing abuse at the hands of their intimate partner have often struggled to reach out for help, due to increased isolation. While the whole world had to lock their doors, some have been locked in with an abusive partner. Emergency shelter for domestic abuse survivors is offered to those who have experienced recent incidents of serious violence. The Shelter team had to adapt to the realities of not being able to spend time with participants in person to talk with them, reassure them and provide the love and support they deserve. The sense of loneliness and fear that survivors experienced was exacerbated by the forced isolation due to the pandemic. Staff spent many hours on the phone with participants and ensured that they knew the team was there. Shannon details her experience serving participants who lived in Emerge’s shelter program during the last 18 months and highlights lessons learned. 
In our housing program, Corinna shares the complexities of supporting participants in finding housing during a pandemic and a significant affordable housing shortage. Seemingly overnight, the progress that participants made in setting up their housing disappeared. Loss of income and employment was reminiscent of where many families found themselves when living with abuse. The Housing Services team pressed on and supported families facing this new challenge in their journey to find safety and stability.  Despite the barriers that participants experienced, Corinna also recognizes the amazing ways our community comes together to support families and the determination of our participants in seeking a life free from abuse for themselves and their children.
Finally, Men’s Engagement Supervisor Xavi talks about the impact on the MEP participants, and how difficult it was to use virtual platforms to make meaningful connections with men engaged in behavior changes. Working with men who are harming their families is high-stakes work, and requires intention and the ability to connect with men in meaningful ways. This type of relationship requires ongoing contact and trust-building that was undermined by the delivery of programming virtually. The Men’s Education team quickly adapted and added individual check-in meetings and created more accessibility to MEP team members, so that men in the program had additional layers of support in their life as they also navigated the impact and the risk that the pandemic created for their partners and children.

DVAM Series: Honoring Staff

Community-Based Services

This week, Emerge features the stories of our lay legal advocates. Emerge’s lay legal program provides support to participants engaged in the civil and criminal justice systems in Pima County due to incidents related to domestic abuse. One of the greatest impacts of abuse and violence is the resulting involvement in various court processes and systems. This experience can feel overwhelming and confusing while survivors are also trying to find safety after abuse. 
The services that the Emerge lay legal team provides include requesting orders of protection and providing referrals to lawyers, assistance with immigration assistance, and court accompaniment.
Emerge staff Jesica and Yazmin share their perspectives and experiences supporting participants engaged in the legal system during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, access to court systems was greatly limited for many survivors. Delayed court proceedings and limited access to court personnel and information had a great impact on many families. This impact exacerbated the isolation and fear that survivors were already experiencing, leaving them worried about their future.
The lay legal team demonstrated enormous creativity, innovation, and love for survivors in our community by ensuring that participants didn’t feel alone when navigating legal and court systems. They quickly adapted to providing support during court hearings via Zoom and telephone, remained connected to court personnel to ensure that survivors still had access to information, and provided the ability for survivors to actively participate and regain a sense of control. Even though Emerge staff experienced their own struggles during the pandemic, we are so grateful to them for continuing to prioritize the needs of participants.

Honoring Staff—Child and Family Services

Child and Family Services

This week, Emerge honors all the staff who work with children and families at Emerge. The children coming into our Emergency Shelter program were faced with managing the transition of leaving their homes where violence was happening and moving into an unfamiliar living environment and the climate of fear that has permeated this time during the pandemic. This abrupt change in their lives was only made more challenging by the physical isolation of not interacting with others in person and was undoubtedly confusing and scary.

Children living at Emerge already and those receiving services at our Community-Based sites experienced an abrupt shift in their in-person access to staff. Layered onto what the children were managing, families were also forced to figure out how to support their children with schooling at home. Parents who were already overwhelmed with sorting out the impact of the violence and abuse in their lives, many of whom were also working, simply did not have the resources and access to homeschooling while living in a shelter.

The Child and Family team sprang into action and quickly ensured that all children had the necessary equipment to attend school online and provided weekly support to students while also quickly adapting programming to be facilitated via zoom. We know that delivering age-appropriate support services to children who have witnessed or experienced abuse is crucial to healing the whole family. Emerge staff Blanca and MJ talk about their experience serving children during the pandemic and the difficulties of engaging children via virtual platforms, their lessons learned over the last 18 months, and their hopes for a post-pandemic community.

Love Is an Action—A Verb

Written by: Anna Harper-Guerrero

Emerge’s Executive Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer

bell hooks said, “But love is really more of an interactive process. It’s about what we do, not just what we feel. It’s a verb, not a noun.”

As Domestic Violence Awareness Month begins, I reflect with gratitude on the love we were able to put into action for survivors of domestic violence and for our community during the pandemic. This difficult period has been my greatest teacher about actions of love. I witnessed our love for our community through our commitment to ensuring that services and support remained available for individuals and families experiencing domestic violence.

It is not a secret that Emerge is made up of members of this community, many of whom have had their own experiences with hurt and trauma, who show up every day and offer their heart to survivors. This is undoubtedly true for the team of staff who deliver services across the organization—emergency shelter, hotline, family services, community-based services, housing services, and our men’s education program. It is also true for everyone who supports the direct service work to survivors through our environmental services, development, and administrative teams. It is especially true in the ways we all lived in, coped with, and did our best to help participants through the pandemic.

Seemingly overnight, we were catapulted into a context of uncertainty, confusion, panic, grief and a lack of guidance. We sifted through all of the information that inundated our community and created policies that tried to prioritize the health and safety of the nearly 6000 people we serve every year. To be sure, we are not healthcare providers tasked to care for those who are sick. Yet we serve families and individuals who are at risk every day of serious harm and in some cases death.

With the pandemic, that risk only increased. Systems that survivors rely on for help shut down around us: basic support services, courts, law enforcement responses. As a result, many of the most vulnerable members of our community disappeared into the shadows. While most of the community was at home, so many folks were living in unsafe situations where they did not have what they needed to survive. The lockdown decreased the ability for people experiencing domestic abuse to receive support by phone because they were in the home with their abusive partner. Children didn’t have access to a school system to have a safe person to talk to. Tucson shelters had decreased capacity to bring individuals in. We saw the impacts of these forms of isolation, including increased need for services and higher levels of lethality.

Emerge was reeling from the impact and trying to maintain contact safely with folks living in dangerous relationships. We moved our emergency shelter overnight into a non-communal facility. Still, employees and participants reported having been exposed to COVID on a seemingly daily basis, resulting in contact tracing, reduced staffing levels with many vacant positions, and staff in quarantine. In the midst of these challenges, one thing remained intact—our love for our community and deep commitment to those who are seeking safety. Love is an action.

As the world seemed to stop, the nation and community breathed in the reality of the racialized violence that has been occurring for generations. This violence exists in our community, too, and has shaped the experiences of our team and the people we serve. Our organization attempted to figure out how to cope with the pandemic while also creating space and beginning healing work from the collective experience of racialized violence. We continue to work toward liberation from the racism that exists all around us. Love is an action.

The heart of the organization kept beating. We took agency phones and plugged them in at people’s homes so that the hotline would continue to operate. Staff immediately began hosting support sessions from home telephonically and on Zoom. Staff facilitated support groups on Zoom. Many staff continued to be in the office and have been for the duration and continuation of the pandemic. Staff picked up extra shifts, worked longer hours, and have been holding multiple positions. Folks came in and out. Some got sick. Some lost close family members. We have collectively continued to show up and offer our heart to this community. Love is an action.

At one point, the entire team providing emergency services had to quarantine due to potential exposure to COVID. Teams from other areas of the agency (administrative positions, grant writers, fundraisers) signed up to deliver food to families living at the emergency shelter. Staff from across the agency brought toilet paper when they found it available in the community. We arranged pick-up times for folks to come to the offices that were shut down so that folks could pick up food boxes and hygiene items. Love is an action.

One year later, everyone is tired, burned out, and hurting. Still, our hearts beat and we show up to provide love and support to survivors who have nowhere else to turn. Love is an action.

This year during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we are choosing to lift up and honor the stories of the many employees of Emerge who helped this organization stay in operation so that survivors had a place where support could happen. We honor them, their stories of pain during illness and loss, their fear of what was to come in our community—and we express our endless gratitude for their beautiful hearts.

Let us remind ourselves this year, during this month, that love is an action. Every day of the year, love is an action.

Licensed Legal Advocates Pilot Program Training Begins

Emerge is proud to participate in the Licensed Legal Advocates Pilot Program with the University of Arizona law school’s Innovation for Justice Program. This program is the first of its kind in the nation and will address a critical need for people experiencing domestic abuse: access to trauma-informed legal advice and assistance. Two of Emerge’s lay legal advocates have completed coursework and training with practicing attorneys and are now certified as Licensed Legal Advocates. 

Designed in partnership with the Arizona Supreme Court, the program will test a new tier of legal professional: the Licensed Legal Advocate (LLA). LLAs are able to provide limited legal advice to domestic violence (DV) survivors in a limited number of civil justice areas such as protective orders, divorce and child custody.  

Prior to the pilot program, only licensed attorneys have been able to provide legal advice to DV survivors. Because our community, like others nationwide, severely lacks affordable legal services in comparison to the need, many DV survivors with limited resources have had to navigate civil legal systems alone. Moreover, most licensed attorneys have not been trained in providing trauma-informed care and may not have an in depth understanding about the very real safety concerns for DV survivors while engaged in legal proceedings with someone who has been abusive. 

The program will benefit DV survivors by enabling advocates who understand the nuances of DV to provide legal advice and support to survivors who otherwise might go into court alone and who would have to operate within the many rules of legal procedure. While they cannot represent clients as an attorney would, LLAs are able to help participants complete paperwork and provide support in the courtroom. 

The Innovation for Justice Program and evaluators from the Arizona Supreme Court and Administrative Office of the Courts will track data to analyze how the LLA role has helped participants resolve justice issues and has improved case outcomes and expedited case resolution. If successful, the program will roll out across the state, with the Innovation for Justice Program developing training tools and a framework to implement the program with other nonprofits working with survivors of gender-based violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. 

We are excited to be a part of such innovative and survivor-centered efforts to redefine DV survivors’ experience in seeking justice. 

Back to School Supplies

Help kids at Emerge start their school year with less stress.

As we approach the back-to-school season, you can help ensure that children at Emerge have one less thing to worry about as they get ready for the new school year in the midst of all they are facing at home.

We want to make sure children have access to all new school materials they need for a successful year, and to accomplish this, we have created a list of the most important school supplies required for this new school year.  

If you would like to support school-aged children at Emerge as they get ready for the new school year, please check the list below of school supplies needed. Items can be drop off at our administrative office, located at 2445 East Adams St. from Monday through Friday between 10a and 2p.

We appreciate your support of our community!

You can download a pdf copy here.

School Supplies

  • Backpacks (All ages)
  • Scissors, glue sticks
  • Markers, pencils, color pencils, mechanical pencils, highlighters, dry erase markers.
  • Binders, spiral notebooks, composition books
  • Pencil boxes
  • Paper (wide ruled and college ruled)
  • Calculators
  • Protractors
  • Thumb drives

Home Room supplies

  • Gallon-sized Ziploc bags
  • Tissues
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Hand sanitizers
  • 3-gallon bins to store school items
  • Individual dry erase boards and markers


  • For children and adults

Gift cards to Walmart, Target, Dollar Tree, etc. in amounts of $5 to $20

Your tax dollars can directly support survivors

tax credit donations represented by a jar full of coins and a red heart

Support individuals and families experiencing domestic abuse with a qualifying charitable donation to Emerge

Did you know that you can direct a portion of your state tax dollars to support individuals and families experiencing domestic abuse? The Arizona tax credit for qualifying charitable organizations allows any individual who owes Arizona state income tax to claim a dollar-for-dollar credit for their donation to Emerge and other qualifying organizations, up to $400 for an individual filer or $800 for joint filers. This is a credit, not a deduction, meaning every dollar you donate reduces what you owe the state by that amount. This credit can only be claimed by individuals, not businesses, corporations, or groups. We invite you to take advantage of this opportunity to work together towards ending abuse in our community. Click here to make your contribution.

Donations can be made anytime during the tax year and up to April 15 of the following year. This year, because of the change in the federal tax filing date, the state of Arizona has extended the deadline for charitable donations and tax filing to May 17, 2021. This gives you an extra chance to give and receive the tax credit for 2020! You may also claim any donation made during 2021 on your 2021 taxes.

Claiming the credit is easy. When you file your Arizona state income tax forms, include form 321 to list your donation(s) and reduce your taxes by the corresponding amount on your tax form. If you have any questions about applying your charitable donations to your taxes, we recommend that you speak with an accountant or tax professional. Emerge staff are not qualified to provide specific advice on tax questions. Additional information can also be found at www.givelocalkeeplocal.org