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Sister of Genna Ayup celebrates two years since recovery center opened

'I want to do something to keep her memory alive.'
Posted at 10:21 AM, Mar 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-03 12:21:21-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — It's been six years since a gunshot took the life of Genna Ayup.

She died after being shot in the head by her boyfriend, at the time, Ronald James Corbin.

No trial date has been set, but since her death, her sister Heather Picard opened two recovery homes for women dealing with domestic violence, drug addiction and alcoholism.

One of the homes is named after her sister -- Genna's home for women.

Picard held a celebration at Udall Park for the two year anniversary of her opening the first home.

She opened these homes because of her past with addiction and domestic violence, something she talked with Ayup about before she died.

"I remember having one of my last conversations with her... I told her I was scared. I was never going to be able to change, and she said 'don't ever say that', She's like, 'you can change'," Picard said.

Shortly after that conversation Ayup died, but the words from that night stayed with Picard.

"I got clean shortly after she died," Picard said. "Ever since than I just told myself, I don't want her to have died in vain. I want to do something to keep her memory alive."

Picard started her nonprofit organization 'Believe Recovery Services', in honor of Genna's life.

She's helped 100s of women through her three to six month programs in the recovery homes.

"She was loving and caring and gave me a roof over my head that was safe," One of Picard's survivors Natalie Hurd said. "I was running from an abusive relationship, and I was lost.. so lost. The three months (at the recovery home) I was there, I blossomed."

Hurd was the first woman to go through Genna's Home for Women and one of the first Picard helped.

Picard said throughout all the women she's helped, she's never forgot the reason why she's started.

"If Jenna was here right now, she would just have a big beautiful smile on her face, and she would just be telling me how proud she is of me," Picard said.

If you'd like to help donate or volunteer you can visit the Believe Recovery Services' Facebook Page or you can reach them at (520) 302-3255.