"A Better Way" was established in 1988 by concerned residents of the Victor Valley. They believed that no one should have to live with violence, and sought to help those who were suffering here in our community. the founders worked to establish a Board of Directors that would have the skills, beliefs and conviction to see the project through to the end.
In 1991, with very limited funds, the Board was able to establish a 24 hour Hotline. They recruited volunteers who provided victims with referrals and support, and with the help of the community, were able to provide emergency hotel vouchers to the families in greatest danger.
In 1992, the major goal of the founders became a reality. A 3 bedroom house was leased which housed victims and their children escaping from domestic violence. The garage was converted into an office, which became the central location of the 24-Hour Hotline, and office of the Executive Director, Margaret Diaz.
Margaret Diaz has been recognized as the original founder of "A Better Way" Shelter. It was her vision and determination that inspired others to help create the organization. She herself was a victim of domestic violence for 16 years. in 1983, she escaped from her abusive husband in Oklahoma, and began a new life in Victorville. To obtain her freedom, she was forced to leave behind her home and her family. Margaret believes that no one should have to leave their home to escape from abuse as she did. She would like to see a day when perpetrators are the ones who must leave their homes for jail cells, rather than victims who commonly must exchange the abuse for homelessness and poverty.
Today, "A Better Way" Shelter has become a valuable resource to victims in the Victor Valley. We now operate a 26 bed shelter, transitional housing, outreach educational classes and service over 1,500 clients per year, providing them with a multi-service program based on the original philosophy of the agencies founders.
Margaret Diaz began her tireless efforts to provide assistance to victims of domestic violence here in the Victor Valley 20 years ago, and today—in 2009—Margaret continues to advocate for and provide assistance to these families.
This year, the Daily Press and The Today’s Woman presented Margaret with a much-deserved award for being one of the Victor Valley’s Most Inspiring Women. All of us here at “A Better Way” wish to congratulate Margaret and to thank her for allowing us to be a part of her vision. She is an inspiration to all of us, also!
VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CAN LIVE A VIOLENCE FREE LIFE, AND OUR SHELTER WILL CONTINUE TO SHOW THEM
"A BETTER WAY"