Welcome back to our regular series: the Supporter Spotlight! Every member of our community has a story… a reason why the work of SafeHouse Denver means so much.
This month, Steve Genders from Keesen Landscape shares how donating services is a long-term investment in making a difference for survivors.
Tell us a little more about yourself.
Steve is a bona fide Colorado native who was born and raised in Englewood. Currently residing in Conifer with his wife, Steve celebrated 34 years with Keesen Landscape this March. “It’s been a long ride, but it’s still exciting and I love what I do,” he said. Steve manages the Englewood branch (Keesen also has a branch in Centennial and a branch that serves the northern metro area), and he cites Colorado’s vibrant outdoors scene as the reason he went into landscaping for his career. When he’s not working, Steve enjoys hunting, fishing, golf and skiing.
How did you first get involved with SafeHouse Denver?
Keesen’s relationship with SafeHouse goes back about 15 years. “If it’s been a year or 20 or 30, it doesn’t matter. It’s something that makes us feel good, and it’s the right thing to do,” Steve said. As part of an arrangement with the previous property management, Keesen had been approached about doing some work for SafeHouse Denver and agreed to provide snow removal free of charge at our Emergency Shelter.
When the Counseling & Advocacy Center was purchased in 2020, Keesen added pro bono snow removal at that property as well. This valuable service helps survivors and staff alike safely access the buildings during Denver’s unpredictable winter months. By saving on this cost, we are able to use other funding to continue providing life-saving services to survivors.
What does the mission of SafeHouse mean to you personally?
Reflecting on that continuum of services, both Steve and Keesen are moved by the hope and healing that are possible. “When you think about what [Advocates] do, it just touches your heart,” he said. “It’s just an amazing thing that they offer. I wish we had more SafeHouses for the people that are in need.”
What do you wish more people knew about domestic violence?
Steve recognizes that survivors and their allies may not always be aware of the full extent of available resources, but educating the public is key. “There are other choices [than staying in abusive relationships], and there are systems out there to help you,” he said. “There’s not enough to say in words” about the importance of SafeHouse Denver to the community, “and that’s why we’re happy that we’re part of it.”
What advice do you have for people who want to get involved with our mission?
“It’s the least that we can do,” Steve said. “Any of these systems that help people that are in need… anything that a company can do to partner with them and help. It’s something that everybody should be doing.”
If you own a company (or know someone who does) that would like to support survivors by donating services or contributing financially, please visit our Community Initiatives page to get started!