NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The house fire in New Orleans East that killed three children is shining a new light on domestic violence, and the founder of a local haven for domestic violence survivors says they need attention.

A member of New Orleans Police Department’s Special Victims Section comforted a family member Friday as she looked at what’s left of the burned home.

That was a much-needed presence, according to Adrienna Winfrey, the founder of the nonprofit Arin’s Nesting Place.

Winfrey fled Texas in 2001 as her marriage became increasingly more abusive and moved to her hometown, New Orleans.

“I felt very protected because police were everywhere,” Winfrey explained. “We had taskforces, we had people who were responsible for their wards and communities and districts and things of that nature. The policing now is just not the same.”

In 2017, Winfrey started Arin’s Nesting Place to offer domestic violence survivors immediate intervention.

“I just want them to come, no form or fashion, you don’t have to make an appointment. Just call me, text me,” Winfrey said. “We text all day because some people, they’re not vocal at the moment. I went through that phase where I couldn’t even speak for myself.”

Winfrey explained she now lives in the space once solely occupied by her nonprofit because of the cost burden.

She wants to continue services but says she needs help with funding and resources.

“I would like to go mobile, you know if it’s in collaboration with the city, if it’s independently, it really doesn’t matter to me because I’m willing to take on the task myself, but I need the backing,” Winfrey said. “I need the protection.”

In addition to Arin’s Nesting Place, local resources include the New Orleans Family Justice Center and Metro Centers for Community Advocacy.

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