Home Advocate Pay It 4ward: Violent Crimes Victims Advocate honored for helping grieving families

Pay It 4ward: Violent Crimes Victims Advocate honored for helping grieving families



KOB 4 recently shed light on the investigative work Carristo did for the family of Kaitlyn Arquette, a teenage girl from Albuquerque who was murdered in 1989.

But over the years – Carristo has extended his support to thousands of other families through his nonprofit – Resource Center for Victims of Violent Death.

Joan Shirley nominated Carristo for this week’s Pay It 4 award.

“There are a lot of people who are on their own. They don’t know what to do next. They need support on a day-to-day basis and that is what the Violent Death Resource Center does. People can call, speak with Pat anytime. She is a great advocate who tries to find support and resources for her families, ”said Shirley.

Carristo helped family members understand their legal rights as victims. And she put them in touch with grief counseling. Perhaps more importantly, she put them in touch with other people who are going through the same kind of pain and trauma.

Cariston connected mothers who have all lost sons to gun violence.

“At the worst time of my life, Pat was there for me and made me feel like I was not alone,” said Josette Otero, mother of Kyle Martinez. “I also feel like Pat helped me get through this and a lot of my depression. She gave me the stepping stones to live for my son instead of living for his death.

“She never had enough money to cover everything. There are not enough full time staff all the time. There isn’t enough money for all of this and I want to honor her for this good work, ”said Shirley.

While $ 400 is a drop in the bucket, Shirley knows Caristo will put it to good use, especially with more people in need of help than any year before.

“Yes and the hardest part now is that we get them in the days or weeks after the murder and these needs are different from those of the families who are a little beyond, they did the funerals and part of the mourning. Now families don’t know where to go, ”Carristo said.

But all of this help Carristo and his nonprofit have offered has had a financial impact, and as the need grows, cash flow, especially during the pandemic, is slowing.

“We are limited to what we can give them, as opposed to the need that exists. We’re trying to find ways to say, what can we do to meet these expanded needs? Carristo said.

Carristo is someone you pray that your life experiences do not require his help.

But for the hundreds of families who have benefited from his generosity, their prayer is one of thanks that it is in their lives.