Domestic violence shelter in Blanding opens

Gentle Ironhawk Shelter, located in Blanding, is now open.

This domestic violence shelter for women and children opened its doors in October, 2021.

The shelter offers a wide range of free services. The Gentle Ironhawk Shelter mission statement is “to provide shelter, advocacy, case management, and prevention services to all women and children impacted by domestic violence.

“It is our aim and mission to provide culturally sensitive and trauma-informed care.

“Using case management, GIS staff will focus on every client’s safety, needs, and goals and work to help them embark on a journey of healing and empowerment.”

A lease created by the Navajo Nation Department of Justice in May 2021 was signed by Utah Navajo Health Systems (UNHS) CEO Michael Jensen and Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.

This agreement has allowed Utah Navajo Health System, Inc. to take over management and operation of the shelter from the Navajo Nation.

Rick Hendy, UNHS Behavioral Health Director, conveyed, “This shelter is operating under the UNHS Behavioral Health department, and we want to make it clear that the shelter services are available for all women and children in need.”

Gentle Ironhawk Shelter recently received a generous donation of over $1,000 from Spencer Gosney, Brigham Ward, Austin Pincock, and Max Russell.

These four young men created and coordinated a raffle event that raised funds specifically for the Gentle Ironhawk Shelter.

Ernest Begaye, UNHS Traditional Counselor, met with Spencer, Brigham, and Max on November 3 to give them appreciation gifts on behalf of UNHS and Gentle Ironhawk Shelter.

Begaye expressed, “On behalf of UNHS and the Gentle Ironhawk Shelter, we’re thankful to the young men that raised some money and then gave it to the shelter.

“As a UNHS Behavioral Health organization, getting this shelter was really something. It was a blessing that fulfills a need that we have to protect our people.

“We prayed about blessings for the shelter, we prayed about money to have it run.

“Those prayers were answered with these young men, donating some money that they raised in the community, the town of Blanding.

“We’re so thankful for that; we feel our prayers are answered. I thanked them, may they also get good blessings in return.

“They are coming to be good community members, community advocates, all working towards something good. They are on that road.”

Gentle Ironhawk Shelter is named after Nicole Gentlehawk Black and Dokota Ironhawk Black. Their lives were taken by their father on September 28, 2000.

For Cynthia Atine, Gentle Ironhawk Shelter Program Manager, this namesake holds a personal connection as Nicole and Dokota are her relatives.

“I’m so excited to be here because this has been in the planning stages for many years and now it is finally happening with the help of UNHS.

“Gentle Ironhawk will provide much needed assistance for families and children living in the Four Corners,” she said.

This project was supported in part by the Utah Office for Victims of Crime, with funds awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice.

If you or anyone you know needs services at Gentle Ironhawk Shelter, please call 435-678-0777. If you are or anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence, there are resources and help available.

For San Juan County residents, please call the UNHS Victim Advocacy 24/7 Hotline at 435-678-0249.

The Utah Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-897-LINK (5465), and the Utah Sexual Violence Crisis Line is 1-888-421-1100. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). For emergencies, call 9-1-1.

San Juan Record

49 South Main St
PO Box 879
Monticello, UT 84535

Phone: 435.587.2277
Fax: 435.587.3377
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday