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(Photo Courtesy Changing Lives Coalition)

Over the past few weeks, I’ve written several pieces for the Artesia Daily Press that focus on some of our town’s youthful success stories. But don’t think that these successes came easily to any of them — these young adults have faced a lot of challenges and struggles as they try to navigate through life.

Luckily, Artesia has several organizations that are here to help kids, teens and families that have gotten sidetracked by bad choices, temptations, and other obstacles. Grammy’s House and the Changing Lives Coalition are both here to assist with a variety of programs and services — and everything is free.

The focus at Grammy’s House is on keeping the victims of domestic violence safe as they work to improve their lives. Grammy’s House offers 24-hour domestic shelter services and client programs for adults, teens and young children.

The Changing Lives Coalition focuses on promoting community safety and health through two  programs that are probably already familiar to many of us: the 7024U Youth Outreach Center and the Artesia Drug & Crime Coalition.

Both are committed to eliminating drugs, gangs and crime through programs that emphasize prevention and intervention by working directly with Artesia’s youth in all our schools. The Coalition credits local businesses with helping them, through sponsorships and donations of goods.

Grammy’s House also accepts donations of items to help the clients who are residing at their domestic violence shelter or moving into a new home: furniture, groceries (gift cards are GREAT), toiletries, cleaning supplies, and clothing for children and adults  —they request that you please call first to arrange a time to drop off your donations: 748-1198. Goods should be “gently used” and still serviceable — three-legged tables and paint shirts full of holes are for the dumpster only!

It seems inevitable that these wonderful organizations would eventually team up to pool their resources, and that’s exactly what is happening this summer! Things will kick off with 7024U’s School’s Out Summer Splash from 1-4 p.m. Friday, May 26, at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Complex, and Grammy’s House staff members will be on hand to help out.

The Changing Lives Coalition is very proud to announce that the Free Summer Meal Program is back — it will offer a balanced and tasty lunch for anyone under age 18, and they will be holding their annual Color Run in July.  (Call 736-7024 for more details.)

The Changing Lives Coalition and Grammy’s House are also working with several other worthy organizations: Girl Scouts, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, the Artesia Police & Fire Departments, and local churches are all uniting as a team to help those at risk and in need. I think it comes down to great people doing great things to help other great people — and why not?

Want to help, or just get more information?

• Grammy’s House: 748-1198

• Changing Lives Coalition, 7024U and Artesia Drug & Crime Coalition: 736-7024; www.changinglivesnm.com; www.7024U.webs.com.

Grammy’s House Programs and Services

(all programs held at 811 W. Texas Ave. — call 748-1198 to confirm)

Children

• Kids’ Talk for ages 7-11: A safe place for children to open up and express their feelings using art therapy and games. Meets from 4-5 p.m. Thursdays (use north door).

• PALS (Puppets Are Life Savers): Another service that helps younger children express themselves. By appointment.

Teens

• Girl’s Circle Teen Support Group for ages 12-17: Helps girls with bullying, finding their values, and self-expression in an intimate and safe setting. Meets 4-5 p.m. Wednesdays; a very short intake process is required to join this group, and walk-ins are welcome.

Adults

• Drug and Alcohol Counseling: Meets from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Mondays; call 361-2512.

• Legal Advocacy: Call for times, 748-1198 or 703-6166.

• Women’s Alternative to Violence: Meets from 1-3 p.m. Wednesdays (use east door). Call 736-6628 or 703-5780.

• Men’s Intervention Project (DVOT): Meets from 7-9 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m. – noon Wednesdays, 1-3 p.m. Thursdays (use east door). Call 736-6628 or 703-5780. Bilingual if needed.

• Women’s Issues Group: Meets from 6-7 p.m. Tuesdays (use the north door).

• Parenting Class: Meets from 5-6 p.m. Thursdays (use east door). Call 736-6628 or 703-5780.

• GED Class: Meets from 9 a.m. – noon and 6-8 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays (use north door).

• ESL (English as a Second Language) Class: Meets from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays (use north door).

• Domestic Violence Family Counseling: Call for times, 748-1198.

7024U Programs

(all programs held at 702 W. Chisum Ave. — call 736-7024 to confirm and for information on other offerings)

• After-School Enrichment for grades 4-5: Offering tutoring; support groups; at-risk youth services; group mentoring for anger issues, self-esteem, confidence-building, truancy, and bullying.

• Teen-Anon: Meets from 7-8 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays. A confidential, 12-step program for teens.

• Arise for grades 6-12: Focusing on developing self-esteem, anger management, healthy relationship, and life skills.