Chrysalis has been in operation for more than 35 years and the last 18 years Patricia Klahr has been at the helm as president and CEO. What was originally started by a woman in her home has since grown to include shelters for women and men, outpatient counseling, offender treatment programs, children’s services, community education and more.
Patricia started as an intern from Arizona State University in 1983, after volunteering for the shelter. After her internship, she was hired as an overnight advocate and worked her way up, leaving for six years to work for Jewish Family & Children’s Service and then returning in 1998 as CEO. “I’m not sure if Chrysalis chose me or I chose Chrysalis,” reflects Patricia.
Patricia was raised in a home that was “open to everybody” and she has what she calls a “social work mindset” – her sister is a social worker. “There was always a sense of helping people. If someone needed a place to stay, it didn’t make a difference if you were Jewish or not Jewish. If you wanted to come for Passover, you came for Passover; it was always an open home for anybody and I loved having that. That is a lot of where I get my strength from,” Patricia explains.
She has also gained strength from the women she has seen come through the shelter over the years. “I would honestly say that there were so many women when I was working in the shelter, they were some of the most courageous people and they gave me the strength