When people think of a shelter, typically they think of a barracks or lots of bunks in a gym! But our safe house is a beautiful, fully furnished home tucked away in a secluded area with lots of trees and a garden to boot!
The Center’s emergency shelter is on a large lot in a confidential location. The shelter is slightly over 3,000 square feet with a 13-bed capacity divided into five (5) family units.
The Center has operated a domestic violence shelter since 1985 and has provided over 38,000 nights of shelter to victims and their children. The shelter itself is in close proximity to the counseling offices, our community partners and the courts.
The emergency shelter residents are homeless victims of domestic violence who have fled a dangerous situation often with their children. Twenty-four percent are also victims of sexual assault and 60% of shelter residents have minor children with them at the shelter.
The staff accompanies clients to legal and social service appointments, especially clients who need additional physical or emotional support. Shelter clients without cars are transported in the Center’s van. Food is provided for the residents as well as nutritional education. Shelter residents are also offered support, information, advocacy, and are empowered to make positive choices for themselves and their children. Domestic violence counseling, addressing the cycle of violence, and its’ impact on the children is incorporated into the group and peer counseling provided to residents. A staff goal for the clients is to reduce the chances of the client becoming homeless again as a result of a domestic violence situation.
Children who receive art and play therapy at the shelter achieve have shown an increase in attention span, and have been observed emulating the non-violent behavior, which they learn in the program. A number of shelter residents return to the Center for support and services after their stay and utilize many of the community resources introduced to them at the shelter. Shelter staff make routine follow up contact with former residents to verify their safety and to assist with any difficulties they may be encountering.
The Shelter Coordinator is the primary staff person that provides services to homeless shelter residents. Clients also receive legal services and counseling sessions at the Center offices. Volunteers also provide services to shelter residents. They assist with counseling, childcare, parenting/nutritional training and transportation on a regular basis. The Center volunteers are screened through fingerprinting and Department of Justice background checks then are trained through our state-approved domestic violence-training program. Volunteers provide over 500 hours of service annually at our shelter.
Each client is assessed at intake to determine their individual need for accommodations. Clients with mobility challenges are assigned to the bedrooms on the shelter’s main floor which is ADA compliant and also contains an ADA compliant restroom. Staff provides specialized accommodations, referrals, and advocacy for clients with cognitive, visual, auditory, and other disabilities. Accompaniment is provided for clients with disabilities, linguistic challenges, or other special needs. The bilingual Shelter Coordinator and Latina Outreach Advocate provide services in Spanish and help Spanish speaking clients obtain services from English-only sources. Partnerships with Spanish speaking resources in the community facilitate collaborative referrals.
The following is a list of community supporters who generously fund our shelter:
- CalEMA California Emergency Management Agency provides funding for the shelter
- Emergency Food and Shelter Program
- And generous community members like you!
In 2012, The Center was successful in securing $609,311 from Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP) to renovate the shelter adding additional beds, counseling offices and art and group therapy rooms.