Taste of Downtown to fund domestic violence shelter

All the revenue from this year’s Taste of Downtown will go toward a new shelter for AEDV. Lisa Lee, executive director, would ideally like to break ground in March 2023.

All the revenue from this year’s Taste of Downtown will go toward a new shelter for AEDV. Lisa Lee, executive director, would ideally like to break ground in March 2023.
Photo courtesy Advocates to End Domestic Violence

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Carson City will be packed with flavor on June 18 when Taste of Downtown returns from its two-year hiatus.
The annual event marks an opportunity for residents to stroll Carson Street, sampling top-shelf food and drinks from local restaurants.
But Lisa Lee is excited for a different reason. She’s the executive director of Advocates to End Domestic Violence, the local nonprofit that holds the event. This year, all the revenue from Taste will be going toward AEDV’s new shelter to house victims of domestic and sexual violence.
Lee has been envisioning it for 27 years, and she has big plans for the facility.
“You want to do it right because we’re only going to do it once, and it’s going to last. It’s going to outlast me,” she said.
The shelter AEDV currently uses is in a rehabilitated building. Lee has kept it open for the entirety of the pandemic, even as other shelters shuttered. It has 51 beds, but AEDV rarely uses every bed because it doesn’t assign multiple families to a single room. The location is kept secret for the privacy of domestic and sexual assault victims.
The new shelter will have 28 beds but a better configuration, Lee said. It’ll have high ceilings and open space to accommodate people with handicaps. And the building will sit right next to AEDV’s Intervention and Resource Center, giving victims better access to services.
“It’s horrible to leave your home and leave all your dreams and possibilities behind. So you want the place you’re going to not to seem like a shelter,” she said. “And we work really hard to make our shelter not seem like a shelter.”

“(Taste of Downtown is) so rewarding because people look forward to it and they get really excited about it,” Lisa Lee said. (Photo: Faith Evans/Nevada Appeal) 

She recalled when she first started with AEDV in 1986. The executive director at the time took her on a tour of the shelter to recruit her to volunteer, but the facility was in shambles. Lee didn’t want to sit on the furniture.
“(There) was an orange, kidney-shaped sofa that looked like many things had given birth on it. And it was held up on bricks,” she said.
Plaster was coming off the walls. There were military blankets tacked over the windows instead of blinds.
Lee told the director, “I’ll tell you why nobody stays here. … I wouldn’t stay here. My mother would not have left an abusive situation to come here. She wouldn’t have dragged us four kids here.”
She took up a position managing the shelter and has been with AEDV ever since. Lee still insists that her facilities look just as good as a home, if not better.
“I’ve painted every single bedroom. I sanded every single floor. Stenciled every room. So I love the buildings,” she said.
She’s hoping that the new shelter will be even better suited to AEDV’s needs, and she would like to break ground as early as March 2023.
Tickets for Taste of Downtown are available at www.tasteofdowntowncarson.com/tickets for $45. To donate to AEDV, visit aedv.org.


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