This is part of an occasional series of stories about TEP’s $500,000 donation to the COVID-19 Community Support Fund through the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA) to help charities meet increased needs during the pandemic.

Domestic violence this year has become a harsher reality for people experiencing abuse who are often stuck in homes with their abusive partners and face increasing financial difficulties, including here in the Tucson area.

Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse served 5,600 clients during the fiscal year ending in June, up from the previous year.

TEP is supporting the agency both as a sponsor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October and a donor for a grant through the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. Both donations are helping the center provide clients with financial assistance for housing, employment, education and basic needs, as well as shelter, crisis intervention, legal assistance and other services.

Lisa Capristo, TEP’s Manager of Information Technology Compliance, serves as the Secretary for Emerge’s board, of which she has been a member for five years.

“Domestic violence is often described as a pandemic within the pandemic,” Capristo said. “We’re here to help people where they are at and with whatever they need.”

For the past few months, Emerge has shifted emergency shelter to hotels, instead of housing where families usually share common spaces, Capristo said. In addition, the center is helping to provide computers and internet for children to continue remote learning in these shelters.

Some ways to support the center during Domestic Violence Awareness Month:

Wear Purple Day, Oct. 22: Supporters are encouraged to wear purple on Oct. 22 to bring awareness to domestic violence and share pictures on social media and tag the center @EmergeTucson.

Days of Caring Donation Drop-off, Oct. 24: Emerge is holding a drive-through donation drive for sanitizing supplies, items for adult and children welcome kits, mobile hotspot cards, kitchen supplies and gift cards. Drop-offs can be made on Saturday, Oct. 24 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at 2545 E. Adams St. See the list of requested items.

Support Emerge: Learn more about the center and how to help on Emerge’s website.

TEP’s donation to Emerge is part of our ongoing support of community assistance, one of TEP’s philanthropic focus areas. Funds come from corporate resources, not customers’ rates. Learn more about donations.

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