Gerry Bailey, the new executive director of Time Out, must be living right.
Bailey and her husband, Chuck, only recently discovered Payson by accident.
"In 2000, we were on our way to Sedona and decided to take the route through Payson," she said. "We stopped for the shops and it was later in the day so we said, OK, we'll spend the night here. We had never heard of it before."
Both were originally from small towns, and after several subsequent visits to the Rim country, the Baileys decided this was where they would one day retire. They returned to the big city -- St. Louis -- where Bailey worked with survivors of domestic violence to bide their time.
Imagine her surprise when she saw the posting for the Time Out job in the very town she hoped to live in one day.
"It was exactly what I do," she said.
Needless to say, she jumped at the opportunity. So fast, in fact, that Chuck is still wrapping things up in St. Louis and will join her shortly.
In the meantime, Bailey is settling in and getting acquainted with the people at Time Out. So far she's impressed with what she's seen.
"Time Out, for a rural area, really has a phenomenal program," she said. "It's impressive and unique to have an emergency shelter, transitional units and a thrift shop."
The emergency shelter, which houses women and their children, has 20 permanent beds, not including rollaways and cribs. Families have their own bedrooms, and the emphasis is on a homey atmosphere. The shelter is full about 85 percent of the time, according to Bailey.
Time Out's four transitional units are for women and their children who are not ready for market rate housing or who prefer some structure and programming.
"It's a bridge, a transition between an emergency shelter where you have a real structured program before you're out in the world on your own," she said. "Rent is based on income."
Such facilities are important because financial stability is a major problem area for victims of domestic violence.
"It's often one of the reasons that keeps her from leaving," Bailey said.
For women who aren't sure if they need the services of Time Out, Bailey offers this advice:
"If you're getting physically hit or pushed or slapped, you know somebody has crossed the line," she said.
"What is a little more difficult to identify is the emotional abuse -- if (for example) you have somebody threatening to harm you or your child. Women sometimes don't take that real seriously, unless it's accompanied by the physical."
Women who aren't sure what to do should call the shelter's crisis line (928) 472-8007.
"We have a lot of educational groups at the shelter and if anybody is in doubt they can call and talk to somebody," Bailey said.
Time Out also offers programs for non-residents, including life skills and similar groups, counseling, pre-teen and teen programs, and legal advocacy. Services are also available for victims of other crimes.
Bailey finds her line of work especially rewarding.
"The most fascinating part is being able to assist women and children who are extremely courageous," she said.
"It's an inner strength that survivors have to be able to leave and say I'm starting over. Everything they have known is now different, and frequently they have to live with a fear for their lives."
While a good deal of Bailey's life revolves around the shelter, she also likes to spend time with her family, read, exercise, bike, go to arts and crafts shows, and work on her spiritual growth and balance.
Time Out is always in need of volunteers, both at the emergency shelter and at the thrift shop. For more information, call Jean Oliver, volunteer coordinator, at (928) 472-8007.
And while the shelter receives funding from a number of governmental sources, including the town, county, state and federal government, it also depends on funds raised locally and revenues generated through the thrift store. To make a contribution, call Bailey at the above number.
Name: Gerry Bailey
Occupation: Executive Director/Counselor
Employer: Time Out, Inc.
Birthplace: Southeast Missouri
Family: Spouse, 2 sons, 2 grandchildren
Personal motto: A mistake is a failure only if I fail to learn something from the mistake.
Inspiration: My mother.
Greatest feat: Parenting
Favorite hobby or leisure activity: Exercise ... a physical challenge.
Three words that describe me best: Straightforward, gentle, Christian
I don't want to brag but ... my grandchildren are exceptional.
Person in history I'd most like to meet: Martin Luther King
Luxury defined: "Growing" my spiritual, social, vocational, emotional, intellectual and physical gardens of life.
Dream vacation spot: Arizona! I want to explore the state.
Why Payson? The job, the climate, the people, the beauty of all of it.