In 1997, Muscatine’s domestic violence shelter moved from a small apartment to a larger space that could safely and comfortably serve more women and children fleeing domestic violence. To help accommodate more people at once, the shelter hired additional advocates. Judy Yates, a Muscatine High School graduate who had run her own beauty salon for several years and then provided child care services at the Muscatine Community Y, decided to apply. For more than 23 years now, Yates has continued to support women and children who have experienced domestic violence and has helped the shelter grow and adapt to continue meeting their needs.
First as an advocate, then as shelter coordinator, and now as shelter supervisor, Yates has helped the shelter fulfill its mission every day. Yates oversees the training of staff members, helping them to offer the best possible care to everyone who comes through their doors. Yates also garners community support for the shelter and raises awareness about domestic violence through outreach programs and presentations. Additionally, Yates works individually with people who experience domestic violence to help them move forward and lead fulfilling lives once they leave the shelter.
Yates has a true passion for her work. “It is amazing to watch the victims we serve move forward to becoming survivors and see them become more empowered each day and know that MCSA, our shelter, staff, and I are a part of them having a better and potentially lifesaving future,” she shared.
Over the years, Yates has seen the community support the shelter through many transitions. She stated: “What I love most about our community is how generous and supportive it is when people need it the most. Without Muscatine residents, businesses, and corporations, our Domestic Violence shelter would have closed years ago, losing a valuable resource in our community.”