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SOS Shelter may be offered to people – adults of any gender or orientation and their children, if any – experiencing domestic violence. An SOS Crisis Services Advocate will assess a person’s situation and determine if a shelter stay is appropriate. Admission criteria includes whether they are considering leaving the abusive relationship and whether they are in danger of harm from or because of the abuser. Many issues will be considered during the assessment, including availability of room and the peace and safety of all residents.  Confidentiality of the location and other residents is of utmost concern.

Shelter is a shared living experience, which can be difficult for some people. Every family has their own bedroom, but bathrooms, kitchens and living areas are shared. Because of the shared-living experience, residents have expectations to keep their bedrooms and living areas clean and to be considerate of others. Only clothing, hygiene items, prescriptions, and small personal items can be brought to the shelter. All items will be cleaned to prevent an infestation of bedbugs. All bedding, towels, and cleaning supplies are furnished. Food is purchased by the resident when possible; however, it can be provided for those unable to afford it. Clothing and small supplies can be furnished as needed.

A stay in the shelter is designed to be short-term, approximately 30 days. The option to extend that time will be considered on an individual basis. A shelter stay is to allow the resident (and their children) to be safe while re-examining their options to proceed with a safe life. The ultimate goal is for the resident or family to leave the shelter for a self-sufficient life while being safe from the abuser.

She not only helped me feel secure in the process, she helped me feel confident about what I could do.

- SOS domestic violence survivor

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