Desert Rose Foundation

Main Page
About Us
Get Involved
Get Help
About Us
Get Involved
Get Help

Welcome to Desert Rose Foundation!

Desert Rose Foundation, Inc. is a faith-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide transitional shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as the services needed to break the cycle of abuse in families.

 Desert Rose provides a safe environment for women, with or without children. We also provide:

  • Emotional support and professional counseling
  • Sexual assault advocacy
  • Victim advocacy
  • Addictions counseling
  • Food and emergency clothing
  • Support groups

*Please note that Desert Rose Foundation, Inc. is made possible througth Indiana Housing & Community Develpment Authority (IHCDA) HOME grant award, and utilizes client tracking software provided by IHCDA. This software is called Homelss Management Information System (HMIS). The HMIS Statement of Privacy Practices may be found here.

In Memorium
Colleen Flickinger Kliewer
February 2, 1958 - January 6, 2018

Desert Rose is extremely saddened to commemorate the passing of Colleen Flickinger Kliewer on January 6, 2018.  Colleen was a founding board member at Desert Rose and proved instrumental in developing and establishing the organization in 2001.  Colleen dedicated countless hours to Desert Rose's mission to shelter victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and volunteered many hours working directly with victims in Morgan County.  Colleen dedicated her life to helping others, and it is with heavy hearts and soulful prayers that we lift her up to the Lord.

Colleen (Anne) Flickinger Kliewer was born to Ronald and Rachel (Willems) Kliewer in Reedley, California, on February 2, 1958. She died in hospice care in Indianapolis, Indiana, on January 6, 2018. When she was five, Colleen’s family moved to Germany where she remained until she graduated from high school.  During that time, she and her brother attended German schools and she became fluent in German. At age 17, she returned to the United States to attend California State University at Fresno, graduating in 1979 with a degree in agriculture. 

Following graduation from college, Colleen volunteered with the relief organization, Mennonite Central Committee. She lived and worked in a small village in Northeast Brazil where she learned to speak Portuguese. Because of her degree in agriculture, she was sent to work on agricultural projects. She quickly realized, however, that people in this part of Brazil, which was in one of many periods of drought, needed far more than agricultural advice and guidance. Although young and alone in this community, she used the model of base Christian communities as laid out in liberation theology to bring people of the community together to develop their own plan for a water system. She tapped into the knowledge and needs of the local community to create long range goals that would work for them. Her sustainable agriculture degree served her well, but this experience of working with a community fostered her growing awareness of the power inherent in community development and advocacy. It also moved her toward a later degree in social work.

In 1983, following a three-year stint in Brazil, she returned to the United States with her friend, Marnetta Shetler, who also had been with MCC in Brazil. They went to Iowa City, Iowa to live with another friend, Hope Nisly. Colleen was there for several years as she contemplated the next steps in her life. The three women developed a friendship that was a source of strength to the end of her life, sisters that she never had.

In 1985, she enrolled in Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana, for a year to discern further direction in her life. As she studied, it became clear to her that her concern for issues of social justice, her desire to be involved in women’s lives, and her experiences in community development were converging into a desire to work with abused women. Colleen then volunteered in a women’s shelter, an experience that solidified her desire to get a social work degree.

It was in Elkhart where she met her future husband, Ron Flickinger. Ron was working on a degree in Peace Studies at AMBS following an assignment with Mennonite Central Committee in Central America. They were married in 1987 and remained in Elkhart while Ron completed his degree.

In 1988, upon Ron’s graduation, they moved to Indianapolis so that Colleen could enroll in the MSW program at IUPUI. When she graduated two years later, the couple accepted another assignment with Mennonite Central Committee in Nicaragua where Ron served as the country representative, overseeing all MCC workers in the country. Colleen went without a specific job assignment, but quickly created her own job description to work with Nicaraguan women and their particular issues and traumas in the post-war milieu of the country. She reached out to women’s organizations in Managua and found her niche as she, once again, listened and responded to their needs and supported their goals. In Nicaragua, she became fluent in Spanish.

During Ron and Colleen’s four-year term in Nicaragua, they adopted their daughter, Teresa, a three-month old infant who had been left at the hospital by her birth mother. Near the end of their term, their son Martin was born. In 1994, when Marty was three months old, the family returned to Indianapolis.

Back in Indianapolis, it didn’t take long for Colleen to find work as a counselor at what was then called Family Service Association. She split her work week between an office in Indianapolis and one in Martinsville, seeing clients with a variety of issues. But her long-time interest in women’s issues found an outlet in an emerging women’s shelter in Martinsville. She became acquainted with a woman who had a vision for a domestic violence program in this underserved area. Colleen supported this effort, helped the woman develop the vision, and then volunteered many hours with incoming clients.

A few years later, Colleen was offered the opportunity to be one of the only bilingual social workers in the Indianapolis Public Schools where she worked with immigrant children and their families. She put her Spanish to good use assisting many students and their families who had limited English and who needed a compassionate advocate such as herself. As with everything else in her life, Colleen poured her heart and soul into this position, which was more than a job to her. It was a calling and a passion that had manifested itself in every position she ever held. When that position was phased out, Colleen became an elementary school social worker in an Indianapolis school with a high percentage of Hispanic children. She held this position until mid-autumn 2017, a few months prior to her death.

In 2008, Colleen and her family mourned the death of Teresa who, at age 17, committed suicide. In the wake of this devastating loss, Colleen forged a close friendship with the recipient of Teresa’s heart.

Colleen had a keen eye and ear for aesthetics and beauty in sight and sound. She played classical guitar in her younger years. She translated poetry from German to English. She made videos which she set to music. And in the last decades of her life she became a fine-arts photographer, producing exquisite landscape and close-up photos. Her photos of the minute details of flowers and leaves, are particularly inspiring and beautiful. She became involved with a photography club, and developed close friendships with many members of that group.

There are clear themes to Colleen’s life: her passion for the poor and marginalized people of the world, her faith in people’s ability to find their own solutions with a little guidance and counseling, and her strong advocacy for laws and policies that meet human needs and provide avenues for opportunity. If the phrase “she persisted” fits anyone’s life, it is particularly appropriate to use it about Colleen’s life.

In addition to the loss of her daughter, Colleen was preceded in death by her mother, Rachel; and her father, Ron. She is survived by her husband, Ron; her son, Marty; her brother, Douglas and his wife, Hope; and a niece and nephew, Barbara and Matthew.

Are you or someone you know fleeing an abusive relationship?
Are you being abused?
Call us at 765-342-ROSE
or toll free at 888-342-ROSE

Desert Rose is accepting applications for overnight and weekend positions on our crisis intervention staff!  For information on the available position, please click here!

Looking for affordable housing in Martinsville?  Desert Rose provides 10 apartment units locally at Providence Place, located at the intersection of Prospect St. and Colfax St. in Martinsville.  If you are interested, please complete an application!  Mail, e-mail, or fax your completed application to Desert Rose to be considered for future vacancies.  The application is available at this link!
replica chanel bags Online, Designer replica chanel bags ... Buy High imitation 1:1 collection chanel replica bags and other well known designer brands bags, wallets and other accessories, At the cheapest prices, Buy replica chanel bags enjoy free shipping!