Aaron Steed remembers helping a woman move items out of her home years ago so she could flee an abusive relationship. Steed and his moving company had moved many women in similar situations, but this time things turned scary.
He remembers the woman’s abusive boyfriend coming home, flinging a toaster toward the wall and accusing Steed of taking his items, leading Steed to call 911. Looking back, the company owner says it was all worth it. His Meathead Movers helps victims of domestic violence get away from their abusers by moving their belongings for free.
“To our unfortunate surprise, during the first two or three years running the company, I’d be the one who would pick up the calls,” said Steed, 35, of Avila Beach, in San Luis Obispo County. “I’d periodically get calls from someone — usually a woman — fleeing an abusive relationship. There were a lot of intense moments and crying.
“I remember the conversations pretty vividly and feeling a tremendous amount of panic and sadness. Handling those phone calls made it very real very quick. As the jobs went on, we realized we were potentially saving lives.”
He felt bad taking money in these situations, so shortly after the company was created 18 years ago, that became company policy — free moving services to people fleeing violent situations.
The company, which Steed and his brother started in San Luis Obispo while both were still in high school, now has four offices in California, including a Santa Ana location that opened in January 2014.