Last month, Su Casa announced its new executive director, Alberto Uribe, who brings over 30 years of experience in the nonprofit sector to the organization.
Uribe began in the role in September. His career began as a GED teacher in his hometown of Laredo, Texas, before moving on to work in social services, where he has remained ever since, he said.
“I’ve always been interested in working with people,” Uribe said. “I can’t find myself doing anything other than that.”
Throughout Uribe’s work in previous nonprofit management roles in Los Angeles, Miami and Detroit, his work has intersected with domestic violence, and he looks forward to utilizing his experience with Su Casa, an organization that has had its roots in Long Beach for decades, he said.
During Su Casa’s next chapter, Uribe hopes to “build on the incredibly solid foundation” of the organization, he said.
While currently, Su Casa has both a transitional and emergency shelter, with 24 and 26 beds respectively, and provides counseling and additional resources to people who have experienced domestic violence, within the next few years, Uribe hopes to at least double Su Casa’s capacity, including further expanding workforce development opportunities for clients, he said.
Uribe plans to explore the possibility of purchasing a campus to operate all of Su Casa’s facilities including administration, an endeavor he hopes will allow the nonprofit to serve even more people, and will involve partnering with other organizations and nonprofits, he said.
“What struck me my first week here as I was speaking to staff is: We have clients, some of whom are looking for employment,” Uribe said. “I want to also be able to be an organization where we can facilitate that as well, and see what we can do in a very substantive way to give people opportunities in employment, in training, in going to school.”
Since the pandemic, communities across the country have seen a spike in family violence, and Uribe hopes for Su Casa to grow to meet the increased need, he said.
The reasons for the increase in violence are unclear, Uribe said.
“All we know is it is there, and it is higher,” he said. “We want to make sure that we’re in a place where either on our own or in collaboration with other organizations, that we can address that.”
In order to meet these goals, Su Casa must leverage its resources and develop a robust capital campaign, said Uribe, who hopes to have Su Casa’s new campus up and running within the next three years.
“We’re beginning to do that, but it’s work that will continue over the next few years to make sure that it becomes reality,” Uribe said.
Staffing is also a priority, particularly with an organization such as Su Casa, which requires people with both passion and knowledge of working with domestic violence survivors, Uribe said.
“In general, nonprofits are having an incredibly difficult time finding and retaining staff over the last two years,” Uribe said. “It requires money, and nonprofits, oftentimes by their very nature, don’t have the funds that are necessary. That’s something that I’m going to be looking at and focusing on.”
In late 2020, Su Casa was the recipient of a $1.25 million Bezos Day One Family Fund award. Part of these funds will be used in Su Casa’s expansion, Uribe said.
The next step is to begin working with Su Casa’s board and establishing a committee to explore possible locations and options, Uribe said.
“As small as my contribution may be, actually reaching out and helping people is the most important thing that I can do,” Uribe said. “I think it’s the most important thing any one of us can do.”
To contribute to Su Casa, donate here.