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User Spotlight: Elvira De la Cruz, The James House

Learn all about Elvira De la Cruz and her work with The James House.

Tell us a little about yourself and your work.

I am originally from Peru and have worked very closely with Virginia’s Hispanic community for many years through a variety of organizations including Bon Secours Foundation, the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Spanish Academy and Cultural Institute, and my current role with The James House Intervention/Prevention Services Inc.

As the Director of Programs and Services, I supervise the delivery of the agency’s programs which work to provide support, advocacy, and education for people in the Tri-Cities area affected by sexual violence, domestic violence, and stalking. It is very rewarding to empower our clients to become healthy, safe, and self-sufficient. I like knowing that I am making a difference in the lives of so many people. 

I am very proud to be a part of The James House, where we work together as a team to give our best to our clients every day, especially our Spanish-speaking clients. Each year we serve over 1200 people affected by domestic violence and/or sexual violence and stalking. 

What lessons have you learned in this role and what’s next?

In my position, I have learned that working with immigrants affected by violence not only requires someone that can bridge the communication gap, but it also requires someone that is open to learn, to be respectful, and to formulate questions that allow a more complete understanding of the client and their situation. Too often, people make an assumption and place the client in a box, telling them what to do according to what they believe is good for them. 

I look forward to continuing to improve upon the quality of services that The James House provides. We hope to reach, serve, and connect with more groups and individuals interested in learning about what we do and providing us with their support. 

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