How long can I stay?Each person's length of stay is different, determined by the specific needs of the individual. Those needing to find a place to stay will stay in shelter longer than those having a residence to return to. If it is only a matter of changing the locks on the house/rental unit and filing a Protection From Abuse order to have the abuser removed, the length of stay may be short. If housing needs to be located and applications for reduced rent filed, it will take longer. The average length of stay is 2-4 weeks. If the need is just for an overnight stay, that can be arranged as well.
The major factor in determining the length of stay is the "safety" of the victim. Safety planning is done with everyone entering and exiting the shelter. Once safety issues have been addressed and/or eliminated, plans for exiting the shelter are made.
How often can I stay at the shelter?
As many times as necessary. Persons leave abusive situations on average 7-8 times before they permanently leave and don't return. It is part of the dynamics of the abusive relationship and staff understands the first time to leave probably won't be the last. Hopefully, each shelter stay provided the person with more tools and options so that eventually a complete break of the abusive relationship occurs.
However, if the person while in shelter discloses the location of the shelter to anyone and is asked to leave, she will not be readmitted under any circumstances. Putting other residents of the shelter at risk is not tolerated. Threatening staff/other residents and any display of violence will also lead to immediate exit of the shelter and no future admissions.
How many people live at the shelter?
The shelter can house 24 women and children. On average 3-4 families are in the shelter at one time. Single women have a room to themselves. Families usually share two rooms.
How many people work at the shelter?
One shelter manager and five shelter relief staff are responsible for shelter coverage, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
How safe is it at the shelter?
The door to the shelter remains locked at all times. An alarm system is in place and alerts law enforcement if windows/doors are opened once the alarm is activated. Law enforcement response time is usually under 3 minutes. The location of the shelter is confidential and no one other than staff or residents is allowed to enter the shelter unless prior approval/notification is received by the Executive Director. 100% of residents upon exit report feeling " safe or very safe" while at the shelter.
What is the cost of staying at the shelter?
There is no cost to stay at the shelter. This service is free.
Am I free to come and go as I please at the shelter?
This issue is addressed on a individual basis. A risk assessment is done on admission to the shelter. Those with a "higher risk" and more safety issues are restricted from routinely leaving the shelter unescorted. Some residents are given overnight or weekend passes if safety permits. Residents are allowed to look for housing and look for or go to work if the safety issues are resolved and the risk of danger is low.
Is there a curfew?
Residents are to be in the shelter by 10 p.m. Once the alarm is set, no one is allowed to enter or leave the shelter unless an emergency exists.