Domestic violence shelter helps families rebound from abuse

Thirteen years after she and her family were placed in a domestic violence shelter at Tri-Valley Haven, 26-year-old Elizabeth recently strode back through the agency’s double doors.

She had just left a shift at her retail job and soon would be headed home to cram for finals at Cal State East Bay.

She was a foot or so taller than the eighth-grader that Christine Dillman, one of the organization’s directors, had first met more than a decade ago.

Dillman said Elizabeth’s transformation, from a teenager rendered homeless by domestic violence to a soon-to-be college graduate aiming for a career in family therapy, is a shining product of the work done by the combination domestic violence and homeless shelter.

“Some days are very hard, but this makes it all worth it,” said Dillman, about the chat with one of her former clients.

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