On the first day of the New Year, we opened an Emergency Women’s Shelter in the Merrimack Valley to address the critical need of available resources to women in Massachusetts fleeing from domestic violence and abuse. [For security reasons, we cannot release the location of the shelter.]
In September 2013, we were awarded a contract by the MA Dept. of Children and Families (DCF) to re-open and run a defunct women’s shelter in the Merrimack Valley for female domestic violence victims. At the time, there were fewer than 135 beds statewide to house women and their children when they fled abuse. By re-opening this shelter, we’ve added needed resources to address this problem.
Prior to opening, the shelter had been closed for 18 months and had fallen into disrepair. With DCF, we embarked on a refurbishing project that involved renovations to the house and providing new furnishings inside the house. The renovation on this 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom house, began in late fall and was completed just before the New Year. With the new furniture delivered at the end of December, our staff opened the doors to four women and their children in early January. We were at capacity within 48 hours. Now, the shelter offers residents a safe and updated facility where they can begin the difficult work of rebuilding their lives, free of home violence and abuse.
On an on-going basis, our staff work with victims and their children to help them assess their options, create a safety plan, and help them find and secure safe, affordable housing. This necessitates aiding these women in creating self-trust and self-confidence as they work to rebuild a future for themselves and their children without violence or abuse.
Services include counseling for women and their children, as well as linkage to our network of providers to address the individual needs of each resident.
Thank You to Our Shelter Angels!
We are deeply grateful to our Shelter Angels who helped us furnish bedrooms and bathrooms, and the kitchen, living room and children’s play room. We could only open on time due to your help! For more information on becoming a Shelter Angel, click here.
For more information about the shelter, email Susan Staples.