Roanoke survivor of domestic violence gives back

By Patricia Martellotti - Reporter

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Two years ago, she was raising three children without a job.

"I felt hopeless," said Veronica Garcia who had just escaped from a domestic violence situation.

She turned to Total Action for Progress known as TAP in Roanoke for help.

"They made me feel really hopeful and I had an opportunity to redo my life which I wanted after my divorce and separation with my ex-husband, an abuser," said Garcia.

WSLS 10 joined forces with the Habitat for Humanity to help build Garcia's house here in Roanoke.

Shea now conducts her own business, called Punky Bright, where she does face painting, balloon twisting and other creative services at special events.

She's also working as a bilingual family counselor at TAP to help other families and victims of domestic violence.

In her work at TAP, Garcia helps connect families in domestic violence with other resources like court services, counseling, or refer them to other helpful programs.

"She loves what she does. She really is the true success of the TAP domestic violence services," said TAP Director of Housing and Human Services Stacey Sheppard.

Sheppard said because Garcia stays so true to her own convictions, she is making a difference in the community.

"She has that heart that makes a difference of a great case manager," says Sheppard.

As Garcia continues to move her life forward, she says she didn't do it alone, "I'm still very thankful to WSLS, to Habitat, and all the sponsors for the house!"

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