By Daniel Aerni
Vice-President, Board of Directors
Casa de Paz was founded in 2014 by three women with a dream. They dreamed of a day when Greater Cincinnati would have a residential facility where Latina women and children who had been scarred by domestic abuse could live temporarily, away from their abusers, and receive respite along with proper trauma-informed care and therapy. In time, with perseverance and hard work, that dream became a reality. Today, Casa de Paz exists and provides that oasis.
But the existence of the home brought with it a reality, in the form of monthly rent, utilities, maintenance, repairs, staff salaries and benefits, insurance, travel expenses, needs for food and clothing and furniture, and more. All of this required structure and organization.
2021, it turned out, was a year of transition. We found ourselves in need of a budget that was realistic and feasible. We needed controls on spending. We needed policies and handbooks and procedure manuals. We needed sound and consistent bookkeeping. We needed a functional security system. We needed ways to raise funds. We needed a proper organizational structure. We needed to expand our reach and let the community know about us and our work and our needs. Dreaming was fine, but we needed doers, people to handle all these mundane chores. And of course we found them. But it was not easy and it wasn’t always fun.
To be fair, it’s not an either-or situation. We still need to dream, to conceive of ways in which we can improve and grow—and we will do that too. But along with that, we still need the day-to-day functioning. It’s a work in progress, never-ending, it seems.
And please don’t forget that we need you too. Our donors and supporters are an important part of the enterprise. We thank you for your constant support and ask that you join with us as we continue to dream and do.