Hi, my name is Patty Plato and my position at Dove, Inc. is the Domestic Violence Shelter Coordinator. I have been an employee since October 1985. I started out as a Vista volunteer and got a permanent position after nine months into my five year assignment.
Working at Dove has opened my mind and heart. I went from being the Resource Specialist who coordinated volunteers and staff for shelter coverage and on-call, to the Shelter Coordinator in 1987 when the domestic violence program moved from a four unit apartment house to the ten bedrooms at the old St. James convent where I became in charge of non-direct services and oversaw the daily running of the building, as well as filling in where needed to assist co-workers. In 1985 rarely would we get a call from a male victim admitting to being abused. Nowadays it is part of the norm. The female victims long ago came to Dove with abuse being their primary issue. Housing and financial assistance was available.
The clients coming to Dove now have problems with employment, housing, substance abuse, language barriers and mental health. The Domestic Violence program offers shelter; help with getting orders of protection, Healthy Families and Domestic Violence Education and Support Group. The staff advocates for clients making appropriate referrals to other agencies to coordinate the services to better help the clients. What a great team to work with.
The need for volunteers is always on-going and the program offers two trainings a year. If someone reading this would like to return as a volunteer or to become a volunteer please contact Barb Blakey or myself, Monday through Friday 8-4p.
Patty is the current employee who has been with Dove the longest. Patty, in the Dove shirt, seen here with longtime volunteer Sandy Stacey.